Well, some think graphene is a scientific rock star according to the Nov. 9, 2011 news item on Nanowerk,
Graphene is sort of a scientific rock star, with countless groups studying its amazing electrical properties and tensile strength and dreaming up applications ranging from flat-panel screens to elevators in space.
That’s what a research group (Craighead Research Group) at Cornell University is saying about graphene in its article, “Fabrication and performance of graphene nanoelectromechanical systems” published n the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 2011, vol. 29 (5).
There’s no question that graphene is a sizzling topic these days and much money is being flung in that direction for research. The Nov. 8, 2011 news item on Nanowerk features a major chunk of funding (which may also have an impact on a huge European Union funding project next year) for a graphene research group in Sweden,
Graphene can enable the best quantum resistance standard. This is one of many advances emerging from the active research into graphene at Chalmers University of Technology. Chalmers will now receive the lion’s share of a new Swedish research grant of SEK 40 million [approximately $6M CAD] for the supermaterial graphene.
Following the new financing from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, a group of some 30 Swedish graphene researchers will be formed, in a close collaboration between Chalmers and the universities of Uppsala and Linköping. The effort will form the Swedish spearhead in international graphene research – a hot topic ever since the Nobel Physics Prize in 2010.
The Chalmers researchers have already achieved several important breakthroughs with graphene, despite the fact that the material was first produced as recently as 2004. One example is a new standard for the quantum of resistance – a “tuning fork” for calibrating the correct resistance in electrical instruments and devices. State-of-the-art resistance standards are based on silicon or gallium arsenide. These are difficult to manufacture, and the method only works at extremely low temperatures and in large magnetic fields. A new generation of resistance standards based on graphene are at least as accurate as those in use today, while benefitting from being substantially easier to produce and use.
In another project, Chalmers researchers have produced a graphene transistor that operates at more than 10 gigahertz. They are now working on producing one capable of reaching into the terahertz range – in other words faster than 100 gigahertz. This may become possible thanks to a large grant that Mikael Fogelström’s research group received earlier this year from the Foundation for Strategic Research – SEK 28.5 million over a five-year period.
The Future and Emerging Technologies in information technology (Fet 11) is the name for the European Union’s 2011 Pathfinder programme, which will be awarding $1B Euros in mid-2012, and which was mentioned in my June 13, 2011 posting about graphene. Here’s an excerpt from that posting,
Bringing together multiple disciplines and addressing research across a whole range of issues, from fundamental understandings of material properties to Graphene production, the Flagship will provide the platform for establishing European scientific and technological leadership in the application of Graphene to Information and Communication Technologies. The proposed research includes coverage of electronics, spintronics, photonics, plasmonics and mechanics, all based on Graphene.
Andrea Ferrari, Cambridge University, UK
Jari Kinaret, Chalmers University, Sweden
Vladimir Falko, Lancaster University, UK
Jani Kivioja, NOKIA, Finland [emphasis mine]
2011 has been quite the year for these researchers at Chalmers since they were one of six research groups getting funds to produce more work in preparation for a final round of considerations before deciding which two groups would be receiving $1B Euro each in 2012.
I gather from the news item on Nanowerk, this latest funding will aid in next year’s big decision,
Chalmers has previously gathered together European graphene researchers for a major research initiative competing for what is known as “Future Emerging Technology Flagship” funds, providing finance of up to SEK 10 billion over 10 years. Next year, the EU will decide whether to convert the pilot project into a flagship. The new research grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is believed to increase the chances of that happening.
Tags: Chalmers University of Technology, Cornell University, Craighead Research Group, European Union, Future and Emerging Technologies [Fet11]) in information technology, graphene, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Mikael Fogelström, pathfinder programme, Sweden