Since the Oct. 10-11, 2013 Graphene Flagship (1B Euros investment) launch, mentioned in my preview Oct. 7, 2013 posting, there’ve been a flurry of graphene-themed news items both on this blog and elsewhere and I’ve decided to offer a brief roundup what I’ve found elsewhere.
Dexter Johnson offers a commentary in the pithily titled, Europe Invests €1 Billion to Become “Graphene Valley,” an Oct. 15, 2013 posting on his Nanoclast blog (on the IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers] website) Note: Links have been removed,
The initiative has been dubbed “The Graphene Flagship,” and apparently it is the first in a number of €1 billion, 10-year plans the EC is planning to launch. The graphene version will bring together 76 academic institutions and industrial groups from 17 European countries, with an initial 30-month-budget of €54M ($73 million).
Graphene research is still struggling to find any kind of applications that will really take hold, and many don’t expect it will have a commercial impact until 2020. What’s more, manufacturing methods are still undeveloped. So it would appear that a 10-year plan is aimed at the academic institutions that form the backbone of this initiative rather than commercial enterprises.
Just from a political standpoint the choice of Chalmers University in Sweden as the base of operations for the Graphene Flagship is an intriguing choice. …
I have to agree with Dexter that choosing Chalmers University over the University of Manchester where graphene was first isolated is unexpected. As a companion piece to reading Dexter’s posting in its entirety and which features a video from the flagship launch, you might want to try this Oct. 15, 2013 article by Koen Mortelmans for Youris (h/t Oct. 15, 2013 news item on Nanowerk),
Andre Konstantin Geim is the only person who ever received both a Nobel and an Ig Nobel. He was born in 1958 in Russia, and is a Dutch-British physicist with German, Polish, Jewish and Ukrainian roots. “Having lived and worked in several European countries, I consider myself European. I don’t believe that any further taxonomy is necessary,” he says. He is now a physics professor at the University of Manchester. …
He shared the Noble [Nobel] Prize in 2010 with Konstantin Novoselov for their work on graphene. It was following on their isolation of microscope visible grapheme flakes that the worldwide research towards practical applications of graphene took off. “We did not invent graphene,” Geim says, “we only saw what was laid up for five hundred year under our noses.”
Geim and Novoselov are often thought to have succeeded in separating graphene from graphite by peeling it off with ordinary duct tape until there only remained a layer. Graphene could then be observed with a microscope, because of the partial transparency of the material. That is, after dissolving the duct tape material in acetone, of course. That is also the story Geim himself likes to tell.
However, he did not use – as the urban myth goes – graphite from a common pencil. Instead, he used a carbon sample of extreme purity, specially imported. He also used ultrasound techniques. But, probably the urban legend will survive, as did Archimedes’ bath and Newtons apple. “It is nice to keep some of the magic,” is the expression Geim often uses when he does not want a nice story to be drowned in hard facts or when he wants to remain discrete about still incomplete, but promising research results.
Mortelmans’ article fills in some gaps for those not familiar with the graphene ‘origins’ story while Tim Harper’s July 22, 2012 posting on Cientifica’s (an emerging technologies consultancy where Harper is the CEO and founder) TNT blog offers an insight into Geim’s perspective on the race to commercialize graphene with a paraphrased quote for the title of Harper’s posting, “It’s a bit silly for society to throw a little bit of money at (graphene) and expect it to change the world.” (Note: Within this context, mention is made of the company’s graphene opportunities report.)
With all this excitement about graphene (and carbon generally), the magazine titled Carbon has just published a suggested nomenclature for 2D carbon forms such as graphene, graphane, etc., according to an Oct. 16, 2013 news item on Nanowerk (Note: A link has been removed),
There has been an intense research interest in all two-dimensional (2D) forms of carbon since Geim and Novoselov’s discovery of graphene in 2004. But as the number of such publications rise, so does the level of inconsistency in naming the material of interest. The isolated, single-atom-thick sheet universally referred to as “graphene” may have a clear definition, but when referring to related 2D sheet-like or flake-like carbon forms, many authors have simply defined their own terms to describe their product.
This has led to confusion within the literature, where terms are multiply-defined, or incorrectly used. The Editorial Board of Carbon has therefore published the first recommended nomenclature for 2D carbon forms (“All in the graphene family – A recommended nomenclature for two-dimensional carbon materials”).
This proposed nomenclature comes in the form of an editorial, from Carbon (Volume 65, December 2013, Pages 1–6),
- Alberto Bianco
CNRS, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Immunopathologie et Chimie Thérapeutique, Strasbourg, France
- Hui-Ming Cheng
Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 72 Wenhua Road, Shenyang 110016, China
- Toshiaki Enoki
Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
- Yury Gogotsi
Materials Science and Engineering Department, A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
- Robert H. Hurt
Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation, School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA
- Nikhil Koratkar
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, The Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180, USA
- Takashi Kyotani
Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
- Marc Monthioux
Centre d’Elaboration des Matériaux et d’Etudes Structurales (CEMES), UPR-8011 CNRS, Université de Toulouse, 29 Rue Jeanne Marvig, F-31055 Toulouse, France
- Chong Rae Park
Carbon Nanomaterials Design Laboratory, Global Research Laboratory, Research Institute of Advanced Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-744, Republic of Korea
- Juan M.D. Tascon
Instituto Nacional del Carbón, INCAR-CSIC, Apartado 73, 33080 Oviedo, Spain
- Jin Zhang
Center for Nanochemistry, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
This editorial is behind a paywall.