Science 2 min read

U.K Company Begins Commercial Production of Graphene

This development could revolutionize a number of crucial tech industries. ¦ Rost9 / Shutterstock

This development could revolutionize a number of crucial tech industries. ¦ Rost9 / Shutterstock

Paragraf, a company founded by Cambridge alumni, recently began the full-scale production of graphene.

Graphene has long been lauded as the next big thing in tech materials. Due to its lightweight size and adaptability, many experts believe that it could be one of the most important materials of the next few decades.

Now, Paragraf has found a way to begin producing it on a commercial scale.

The U.K-based company is already producing graphene ‘wafers’ and graphene-based electronic devices. These materials will mainly find uses in transistors, which can deliver speeds over ten times faster than silicon chips.

Along with revolutionizing transistors, graphene can also be used in electrical and chemical sensors. For these sensors, graphene increases sensitivity by a factor of 30.

Graphene is stronger than steel, highly flexible and transparent, and more conductive than copper. All of these qualities make it a miracle material for a number of sectors.

However, until now, its use has been limited due to the difficulty in creating it on a large-scale. Originally, creating graphene involved using a copper catalyst, which contaminates the graphene.

The Cambridge team, however, managed to form high-quality graphene up to 8 inches in diameter, a larger size than any other foundation or company to date.

Three researchers are at the focus of this project: Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, Dr. Simon Thomas, and Dr. Ivor Guiney.

The three researchers founded Paragraf in early 2018 and have already received £2.9 million in funding support. Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialization arm, led the funding support, but was not the only interested party. Paragraf already employs 16 people and has filed eight patents.

According to Humphreys

“Paragraf has the potential to transform a wide range of industries, including electronics, energy and healthcare. It will enable the brilliant basic science results achieved in laboratories worldwide using small graphene flakes to be commercially exploited in graphene-based devices and to realise the potential and benefits to society of graphene, the wonder material.”

Read More: New Graphene-Based Wearables to Monitor Human Health Stats

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