Graphene Frontiers raises $1.6 million, launches GFET-based chemical and biological sensors

Graphene Frontier, spun off from the University of Pennsylvania, is producing graphene using their own Atmospheric Pressure CVD (APCVD) technology, a roll-to-roll process that does not require a vacuum. We now hear that the company raised $1.6 million in Series Seed B funding.

The round was led by Trimaran Capital Partners with participation from R2M Investments and return backers WEMBA 36 Angels. Graphene Frontiers will use the money to hire additional researchers, expand the lab facilities and accelerate the development of their proprietary GFET sensors and manufacturing process.

New graphene transfer process does not require any wet chemistry steps

Researchers from Korea's Pohang University of Science and Technology developed a new dry process to transfer CVD-grown graphene. Avoiding any wet chemistry step means that you can place the graphene on water sensitive substrates. The researchers explain that this method may create better performing graphene as they contain fewer defects and charged impurities.

The process starts by coating the graphene with polymeric bilayers made of polybutadiene (PBU) and PMMA. The catalytic metal beneath the graphene are removed and the polymers and graphene are together placed on a sample holder. This is moved onto the target substrate and then nitrogen gas is used to break the edges of the graphene/polymer structure, which is then laminated onto the target substrate.

Graphene-based sensors can detect a single cancer cell

Researchers from Nankai University developed a single-cell sensor (optical refractive index sensor) based on graphene field-effect transistors. This new sensor is able to detect a single cancer cell.

The researchers managed to obtain such ultrahigh sensitivity by controlling the thickness of high-temperature reduced graphene oxide. The resolution obtained is the highest values reported for refractive index sensors."

IBM researchers fabricated the world's most advanced G-FET based IC

IBM researchers built a graphene (GFET) based radio frequency receiver IC which they say is the world's most advanced IC ever made of graphene - in fact it offers 10,000 times better performance and any previously reported effort.

GFET radio frequency receiver IC (IBM)

IBM's circuit consists of three graphene transistors, four inductors, two capacitors, and two resistors. All circuit components are fully integrated into a 0.6 mm2 area and fabricated in a 200 mm silicon production line. The researchers say that those the circuits consume less than 20 mW power to operate, while also demonstrating the highest conversion gain of any graphene RF circuits at multiple GHz frequency.