Article last updated on: Apr 21, 2020

The Graphene Flagship is a Future and Emerging Technology Flagship project by the European Commission. With a budget of €1 billion, the Graphene Flagship represents a new form of joint, coordinated research on a large scale, forming Europe's biggest ever research initiative.

Graphene Flagship logo (2020)

Launched in 2013, the Graphene Flagship’s mission is to advance graphene commercialization and take graphene and related materials from academic laboratories to society within 10 years, while revolutionizing entire industries and creating economic growth and new jobs in Europe.

The core consortium consists of about 150 academic and industrial research groups in over 20 countries. In addition, the project has a growing number of associated members that will be incorporated in the scientific and technological work packages from the Horizon 2020 phase (1 April 2016 – 31 March 2018). The project started in a ramp-up phase (October 2013 till the end of March 2016), then planned to enter into the steady-state phase (2016-2020).

The research effort covers the entire value chain from materials production to components and system integration, and targets a number of specific goals that exploit the unique properties of graphene. The Graphene Flagship is coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

The latest Graphene Flagship news:

FLAG-ERA announces funding for 10 new projects on graphene research and applications

FLAG-ERA has announced the funding of 10 new projects on graphene and related materials, which will become partnering projects of the Graphene Flagship. The projects split between basic and applied research and innovation, covering areas from magnetic memories and photodetectors to novel batteries and neural inter-faces.

The FLAG-ERA initiative establishes links between the EU-funded FET Flagship projects and national and regional funding agencies in Member States. Through different strategies, FLAG-ERA fosters multi-disciplinary collaborations to expand the scope of the Graphene Flagship and the Human Brain Project. Among these was their latest Joint Transnational Call (JTC) 2021, announced earlier this year. JTC 2021 has resolved funding for the 10 projects, seven of which involve partners from widening countries like Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Researchers use 'aerographene' to create controllable electrical explosions

An international research team, led by Germany's Kiel University (CAU) and including scientists from the University of Southern Denmark, Technische Universität Dresden, University of Trento, Sixonia Tech and Queen Mary University of London, has used aero-graphene to develop a new method for the generation of controllable electrical explosions. "Aerographene" consists of a finely-structured tubular network based on graphene with numerous cavities. This makes it extremely stable, conductive and almost as lightweight as air.

The research team has now taken a major step toward practical applications. They have succeeded in repeatedly heating and cooling aerographene and the air contained inside it to very high temperatures in an extremely short period of time. This enables extremely powerful pumps, compressed air applications or sterilizing air filters in miniature.

Graphene Flagship Partner SPAC updates on graphene-enhanced automotive components project

SPAC, an Italy-based medium-sized company specializing in the production of technical textiles, has joined the Graphene Flagship's Spearhead Project G+BOARD that aims to build parts of cars’ passenger compartments with graphene and related materials.

G+BOARD’s researchers aim to remove most of the copper wiring currently used in dashboards, to reduce the car’s weight and production steps, while improving aesthetics, disposal and recyclability. SPAC is developing new steering wheels and glove boxes with graphene-based materials.

Graphene to enable ten times higher data storage in computer memories

Researchers at Graphene Flagship partners the University of Cambridge, UK, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology, Switzerland and Graphene Flagship Associate Member the University of Exeter, UK, in collaboration with colleagues at CSIR-Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute, India, National University of Singapore (NUS), A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), Singapore, the University of Illinois and Argonne National Laboratory, US, have demonstrated that graphene can be used to produce ultra-high density hard disk drives (HDD). This can potentially lead to the development of ultrahigh density magnetic data storage: a big jump from the current one terabit per square inch (Tb/in2) to ten terabits over the same area.

HDDs contain two major components: platters and a head. Data are written on the platters using a magnetic head, which moves above the platters as they spin. The space between head and platter is continually decreasing to enable higher densities. Currently, carbon-based overcoats (COCs) – layers used to protect the platters from mechanical damages and corrosion – occupy a significant part of this spacing. The data density of HDDs has quadrupled since 1990, and the overcoats’ thickness was reduced from 12.5nm to about 3nm, which corresponds to one Tb/in2. However, a COCs’ thickness of less than one nm would be required to make a significant improvement in data storage and reach a density of 10 Tb/in2.