CVD processes are used to create high-quality single layer (also bi-layer and tri-layer) graphene sheets. These kinds of sheets exhibit exceptional properties and can be used in a variety of exciting applications, from touch layers to transistors and sensors. For many years, CVD has been a high cost production process and this graphene is still mostly used in research projects in academic and research institutes, but prices are gradually dropping, to the point where commercial applications are starting to appear on the market.
Recent years have, as we said, brought on a continuing price drop in CVD graphene prices. Spain-based Graphenea, a global CVD graphene leader, has an online shop in which it offers its high-end CVD graphene samples. We have been tracking the prices of Graphenea's CVD graphene since late 2015, and the graph above shows the price decrease.
It is great to see the price drop on some of these materials - for example Graphenea's 4-inch round mono-layer CVD graphene film on a silicon wafer costs $572 in 2017, which is a 33% price drop from the price in 2015 ($849). We are tracking five different Graphenea products and the price decrease since 2015 ranges from 12% to 38%.
CVD graphene is still too expensive for many applications, but the price trend is encouraging. China's Wuxi Graphene Film, for example, is producing touch sensors based on graphene, and in Europe we are seeing initial products such UV LEDs, bio-sensors and photodetectors. Graphenea even says that the current price of graphene is lower than some other materials used in the electronics industry - such as GaN.