(via University of Cambridge)
Graphene’s popularity has been gaining momentum over the last decade and more and more academic and corporate institutions are studying ways of easily fabricating the wonder material and implementing ways of using it. One prestigious institution is looking to close the gap between engineering and real-world application of the 1-atom thick pure carbon material by coalescing both academics and industry mechanics into one new state of the art facility. The University of Cambridge recently announced that it will be adding the ‘Cambridge Graphene Centre’ to its facilities with construction set to start on the 1st of February (2012) with completion set for the end of this year. According to Cambridge the new facility will feature state-of-the-art equipment (pencils and protractors?) for graphene film manufacturing and optimization as well as dispersion (Casimer effect/graphene interaction with a magnetic field) and inks (graphene-based conductive ink/printed electronics). The facility costs will be financed by a Government grant of more than $20 million US as well as an additional $21 million US allocated from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) for project support and R&D (Research and Development). The funding will also support programs from the Graphene Institute in Manchester as well as Lancaster University whose work will focus taking graphene from a raw state (after fabrication) to various end results that include ‘flexible, wearable and transparent electronics on an industrial scale’. Other areas of interest the Centre will focus on looks to include adapting graphene for connectivity such as networks and networked devices while other interests will center on the materials integration into energy storage (batteries) and use in next-gen super capacitors. With all the hype surrounding graphene and how it can be used over the years it will be interesting to see what new technology will come as a result of the new Centre’s efforts over the next few years.