Graphene Hall Effect Sensor Testing in Hostile Environments

Lead Participant: Paragraf Ltd

Abstract

"Discovered by scientists at the University of Manchester in 2004, Graphene is called a wonder material, because it has such phenomenal properties. It is more electrically conductive than copper, stronger than stainless steel, it is flexible and it is almost fully transparent. No other material has such a combination of outstanding properties. Its use in electronics has been postulated since its discovery, and indeed outstanding electronic devices made from graphene have been proven on small scales in research laboratories. However, the lack of a production technique for graphene suitable for the electronics industry has hampered its commercial viability in this area.

Paragraf, a spin-out from Prof. Sir Colin Humphreys' research group at the Department of Materials Science in the University of Cambridge has developed a production technique for graphene, making it suitable for electronic and sensor devices. The company secured £2.9m in a seed phase round, and has a small production facility just north of Cambridge.

Paragraf's first commercial device is a Hall sensor made from graphene. Hall sensors are magnetic sensors, and up until now have been made from materials like silicon. They are used in many applications, from measuring the speed of rotating shafts (a specific example would thus be measuring the speed of a car) to positional sensors in laptop screens. However, they have struggled to find room in harsh conditions, such as high levels of radiation and high temperatures. Due to its combination of outstanding properties, graphene Hall sensors can work in these environments, opening up new applications such as electronics on robotics for nuclear decommissioning, or more robust electronics for space.

This project will bring Paragraf and the National Physical Laboratory together to test Paragraf's Hall sensors in various harsh conditions. The outstanding test facilities at the NPL are unique in the world in their ability to do this. Results from the tests will allow Paragraf to target high-value applications, to bring graphene electronics to market and to consumer use."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

 

Participant

Paragraf Ltd
Npl Management Limited, TEDDINGTON £98,000

People

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