“The final review of the first core project confirms that the Graphene Flagship is well on track to reach its ambitious goals,” says Graphene Flagship director Jari Kinaret.
The EC released the results of its review in August following an extensive look at reports and presentations from Graphene Flagship leadership as well as a demonstration of more than 20 graphene product prototypes. The reviewers commended the Graphene Flagship for effectively transforming individual research initiatives into a “genuine collaboration towards larger goals” and cited a number of scientific and technical achievements as evidence that the project is moving in the right direction.
“Graphene and related materials are at the center of an ever-increasing number of initiatives worldwide. With thousands of materials available that can be combined amongst themselves, there is an almost endless set of possibilities available for future investigation,” said Andrea Ferrari, Graphene Flagship science and technology officer. “The Graphene Flagship continues to study the properties and uses of these new materials and materials combinations, leading to the development of both new science and new applications.”
From the start of the flagship, consortium members have published more than 2,400 scientific papers that have been cited more than 50,000 times. In addition, they have been granted 25 patents related to the Graphene Flagship and launched six new companies. Of the 43 graphene-related products that have been introduced to the market, most are different types of graphene materials or formulations.
As demonstrated by its publication output and patent portfolio, the Graphene Flagship is defining the international forefront in its field. Its output includes, for instance, new ways to produce two-dimensional materials and their heterostructures, record-breaking photodetectors, novel sensors, next generation energy storage solutions and advanced composites for uses in aerospace applications.
Other notable graphene successes include work towards a high-speed photonic switch for 5G communication technologies, the leading edge of the horizontal rear stabilizer of an Airbus 350 and artificial retina implants to allow blind patients to recover some degree of vision.
Furthermore, a serendipitous discovery by researchers in the Health and Environment Work Package that few-layer graphene flakes kill monocytes—a type of immune cell responsible for one type of leukemia—could lead to a new type of cancer therapy.
Composites applications are among the most mature markets for graphene, with several commercial products already available from Graphene Flagship partners. More recently, products are being launched in other areas as well. For example, based on research conducted within the Graphene Flagship framework, Emberion launched a fully packaged photodetector module that can detect light in the visible to short-wave infrared ranges. Aimed at industrial applications including spectrometry, gas detection and power measurements, the low-noise, high-sensitivity detectors are now available for Emberion’s customer base. This product is the Flagship’s first commercial launch exploiting graphene’s unique electro-optical properties.