Graphene ‘roadmap’ shows the way forward

16 Oct 2012

The world’s strongest, thinnest and most conductive material,
graphene, has been the subject of a new paper by the University of
Manchester and Lancaster University.

The resulting ‘graphene roadmap’
suggests that it might be used to revolutionise a diverse range of
things, from broadband connections to anti-cancer drugs. It is also
anticipated that the material will be widely used in touchscreen devices
in the near future.

Its unique properties mean that graphene
could produce touchscreens that would be far more durable and which
could also potentially be flexible. The authors estimate that graphene
touchscreen devices will be available in less than five years. Extending
this idea further, the report forecasts that by 2015 a prototype
rollable epaper will be in existence that could revolutionise the
electronics industry.

The timescale for the fruition of the many
ideas discussed in this paper depends on the quality of graphene
required for the application. For example, the high-quality graphene
required for use in anti-cancer drugs has meant their availability is
soberly predicted at around 2030.

Professor Novoselov, a Nobel
Prize winner from the University of Manchester, states: 'Graphene is a
unique crystal in a sense that it has single-handedly usurped quite a
number of superior properties: from mechanical to electronic. This
suggests that its full power will only be realised in novel
applications, which are designed specifically with this material in
mind, rather than when it is called to substitute other materials in
existing applications.’

His co-author, Professor Vladimir Falko
of Lancaster University, added: 'In our paper, we aim to raise awareness
and alert engineers, innovators, and entrepreneurs to the enormous
potential of graphene to improve the existing technologies and to
generate new products.’

The paper, A Roadmap for Graphene, was
written by members of the University of Manchester, Lancaster
University, Texas Instruments Incorporated, AstraZeneca, BASF and
Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology.

Further information

The graphene-paved roadmap