Manchester researchers unveil 'graphene roadmap'
A consortium of international researchers has produced a 'graphene roadmap' that sets out what the world's thinnest, strongest and most conductive material could achieve in the next few years.
The paper, published in the journal Nature, details how graphene – first discovered at the University of Manchester by Professors Kostya Novoselov and Andre Geim in 2004 – could revolutionise a variety of applications, from smartphones and sensors to composite materials and computer chips.
One key area is touchscreen devices, according to the researchers, who say that graphene's mechanical flexibility and chemical stability are superior to indium tin oxide. They believe the first graphene touchscreens could be on the market within three to five years.
The team also says that graphene's flexibility will be ideal for fold-up electronic sheets, with rollable e-paper potentially available as a prototype by 2015.
With timescales for applications varying depending upon the quality of graphene required, the report estimates that devices such as photo detectors, high speed wireless communications and THz generators will not be available until at least 2020, while graphene as a replacement for silicon is unlikely to become a reality until around 2030.
"Graphene has the potential to revolutionise many aspects of our lives simultaneously," said Prof Novoselov. "Some applications might appear within a few years already and some still require years of hard work. Graphene is a unique crystal in a sense that it has singlehandedly 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."
This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the