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.
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:
A new research has shown that graphene is able to act on excitatory synapses and interfere with the development of anxiety-related behaviors. Carried out by SISSA – International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste, Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) of Barcelona, and the National Graphene Institute of the University of Manchester, in the framework of the European Graphene Flagship project, the research has shown that graphene has the ability to interact with the functions of the nervous system in vertebrates in a very specific manner. The researchers say that the material interrupts the build-up of a pathological process that leads to anxiety-related behavior.
Study leader, Laura Ballerini of SISSA, explained that previous research has shown that when graphene flakes are delivered to neurons, they interfere spontaneously with excitatory synapses by transiently preventing glutamate release from presynaptic terminals. Ballerini said: “We investigated whether such a reduction in synaptic activity was sufficient to modify related behaviors, in particular the pathological ones that develop due to a transient and localized hyper-function of excitatory synapses”.
A collaborative team of Graphene Flagship partners from DTU, Denmark, IIT, Italy, Aalto University, Finland, AIXTRON, UK, imec, Belgium, Graphenea, Spain, Warsaw University, Poland, and Thales R&T, France, as well as collaborators in China, Korea and the US, has come together to develop and mature terahertz spectroscopy techniques, that can penetrate graphene films and enable the creation of detailed maps of their electrical quality, without damaging or contaminating the material. The result of this collaborating is a novel measurement tool for graphene characterization.
Graphene is often ‘sandwiched’ between many different layers and materials to be used in electronic and photonic devices, which complicates the process of quality assessment. Terahertz spectroscopy can help by imaging the encapsulated materials and revealing the quality of the graphene underneath, exposing imperfections at critical points in the fabrication process. It is a fast, non-destructive technology that probes the electrical properties of graphene and layered materials, with no need for direct contact.
Researchers affiliated with the Graphene Flagship from RWTH Aachen University, Universität der Bundeswehr München and AMO in Germany, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and with Protemics have reported a new method to integrate graphene and 2D materials into semiconductor manufacturing lines, a milestone for the recently launched 2D-EPL project.
Two-dimensional (2D) materials have a huge potential for providing devices with much smaller size and extended functionalities with respect to what can be achieved with today's silicon technologies. But to exploit this potential, it is vital to be able to integrate 2D materials into semiconductor manufacturing lines - a notoriously difficult step. This new technique could be a step in the right direction as far as solving this problem is concerned.
The European Commission (EC) has announced a €20 million investment in the next generation of electronics and semiconductors. The 2D Experimental Pilot Line (2D-EPL) was officially launched as the first graphene foundry to integrate graphene and layered materials into semiconductor platforms. The new project aims to keep Europe at the forefront of this technological revolution.
Born within the EU-funded project, the Graphene Flagship, the 2D-EPL will cover the entire value chain, from tool producers and chemical and material providers to manufacturing lines. This collaborative project will integrate several Graphene Flagship members to pioneer the fabrication of new prototype electronics, photonic devices and sensors integrating graphene and layered materials.
A study recently conducted by Graphene Flagship partners the University of Strasbourg and CNRS, France, in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, has shown that graphene quantum dots are biodegradable by two enzymes found in the human body.
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are tiny flakes usually smaller than five nanometres that have potential for many applications. GQDs are fluorescent, so they can absorb light and then emit it, often at a different wavelength. They are also so small that they can penetrate cells. Together, these properties pave the way to a wide array of applications in bioimaging, biosensing and new therapies - among other potential uses.