CVD enabled Graphene Technology and Devices (GRAPHTED)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Engineering

Abstract

Graphene is a single layer of graphite just one atom thick. As a material it is completely new - not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest. It is almost completely transparent, yet as a conductor of electricity it performs as well or even better than copper. Since the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to UK researchers in this field, fundamental graphene research has attracted much investment by industry and governments around the world, and has created unprecedented excitement. There have been numerous proof-of concept demonstrations for a wide range of applications for graphene. Many applications require high quality material, however, most high quality graphene to date is made by exfoliation with scotch tape from graphite flakes. This is not a manufacturable route as graphene produced this way is prohibitively expensive, equivalent to £10bn per 12" wafer. For high quality graphene to become commercially viable, its price needs to be reduced to £30-100 per wafer, a factor of 100 million. Hence graphene production and process technology is the key bottleneck to be overcome in order to unlock its huge application potential. Overcoming this bottleneck lies at the heart of this proposal.

Our proposal aims to develop the potential of graphene into a robust and disruptive technology. We will use a growth method called chemical vapour deposition (CVD) as the key enabler, and address the key questions of industrial materials development. CVD was the growth method that opened up diamond, carbon nanotubes and GaN to industrial scale production. Here it will be developed for graphene as CVD has the potential to give graphene over large areas at low cost and at a quality that equals that of the best exfoliated flakes. CVD is also a quite versatile process that enables novel strategies to integrate graphene with other materials into device architectures. In collaboration with leading industrial partners Aixtron UK, Philips, Intel, Thales and Selex Galileo, wwill develop novel integration routes for a diverse set of near-term as well as future applications, for which graphene can outperform current materials and allows the use of previously impossible device form factors and functionality.

We will integrate graphene for instance as a transparent conductor into organic light emitting diodes that offer new, efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for general lighting, including a flexible form factor that could revolutionize traditional lighting designs. We will also integrate graphene into liquid crystal devices that offer ultra high resolution and novel optical storage systems. Unlike currently used materials, graphene is also transparent in the infrared range, which is of great interest for many sensing applications in avionics, military imaging and fire safety which we will explore. Furthermore, we propose to develop a carbon based interconnect technology to overcome the limitations Cu poses for next generation microelectronics. This is a key milestone in the semiconductor industry roadmap. As a potential disruptive future technology, we propose to integrate graphene into so called lab-on-a-chip devices tailored to rapid single-molecule biosensing. These are predicted to revolutionize clinical analysis in particular regarding DNA and protein structure determination.

Planned Impact

Our project GRAPHTED addresses key questions pertinent to industrial materials development for graphene, in particular low-cost, scalable, reproducible production and integration of high quality graphene. It will develop chemical vapour deposition (CVD) as the main low cost production technique, to reduce the cost from £10bn per wafer (the effective price of exfoliated graphene) down to £30-100 per wafer. This dramatic 100 million-fold cost reduction will allow CVD graphene to replace exfoliated graphene flakes as the standard research material, and to develop an industrial basis for graphene's exploitation, following a similar pathway that allowed CVD to replace other production routes of carbon nanotubes or diamond. This is highly relevant to the academic research relating to graphene and crucial to increase the industrial relevance of graphene, and to enable commercial dividends to be paid on the substantial investment that the UK has already made in graphene research, and which it will make in the future.

The project also contains the full supply chain of beneficiaries, from equipment manufacturers (Aixtron UK) to electronics and photonics companies (Philips, Intel, Thales, Selex Galileo). An immediate route to impact is through Aixtron UK itself, and the many more units of process equipment and upgrades it can sell to research users and industry due to the process technology developed by this project. It is also relevant that Aixtron is also a supplier of GaN and OLED deposition equipment, whose customers (e.g. Philips, Osram) would also be users of the transparent electrode application at the centre of the project. Hence our project has a real potential to create jobs at Aixtron in the UK. We infer that the technology IP created will yield long-term economic benefits to the UK, which will accrue as capability grows.

The long term societal impact of our project can be significant in particular through the diverse set of applications we study that promiseor instance environmentally friendly solutions for general lighting, new form factors in life style electronics, improved military imaging and fire safety, and mass sensing applications in healthcare, security and environmental protection.

Publications

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Aria AI (2016) Parameter Space of Atomic Layer Deposition of Ultrathin Oxides on Graphene. in ACS applied materials & interfaces

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Aria AI (2016) Time Evolution of the Wettability of Supported Graphene under Ambient Air Exposure. in The journal of physical chemistry. C, Nanomaterials and interfaces

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Braeuninger-Weimer P (2016) Understanding and Controlling Cu-Catalyzed Graphene Nucleation: The Role of Impurities, Roughness, and Oxygen Scavenging. in Chemistry of materials : a publication of the American Chemical Society

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Butt H (2013) Visible Diffraction from Graphene and Its Application in Holograms in Advanced Optical Materials

 
Description The research consoritium focused on overcoming key manufacturing and device intergation challenges for graphene and related 2D materials, and managed to develop the potential of these nanomaterials via CVD based manufacturing technology towards higher TRL levels and industrial applications. In collaboration with leading industrial partners we developed new graphene growth processes (with Aixtron UK, who sell new reactors and recipes based on our results), produced highly efficient graphene based OLEDs (with Philips), developed graphene based bio-sensing platform (with Prognomics and Unilever) and nanopore sensing, demonstrated graphene based magnetic tunnel junctions and novel spin valves (with Thales) and developed graphene electrodes for use in liquid crystal devices in the mid-wave and long-wave infrared (with Selex ES). The success of this project is reflected by the many follow-up projects, for instance on THz metamaterial/graphene optoelectronic modulators and devices (Dr Degl-Innocenti who worked on this project at UCam has been appointed to Lectureship at Lancaster University), to novel metrology and characterisation techniques (with NPL), and Integreated Graphene on Ge/Si Platform for mid-IR Photodetectors (University of Southampton). We also spun-out a new company (HexagonFab) to drive innovative future applications in biotechnology, sensing and quantum computing. Emerging products, such as intelligent sensors, logic/memory components/displays, portable medical devices, energy storage and harvesting systems, have the potential to establish~$150Bn markets by 2026. Graphene and related 2D materials have benefits both in terms of cost-advantage, and uniqueness of attributes and performance. We also started addressing industrially viable integrated manufacturing pathways for h-BN and other 2D materials and provided the critically required science for
standardization and industrialization, addressing both short and long-term needs.
Exploitation Route We have spun out a new company (HexagonFab) to drive manufacturing in this field and CVD process technology developed in our project is commercially available via Aixtron UK. We anticipate that the developed integration routes will be hugely beneficial to the wide, cross-disciplinary academic and industrial community, which seeks new possibilities to successfully implement graphene and related 2D materials in applications. The innovation achieved in GRAPHTED will strengthen the position of UK based companies in this market. Our results are of equal importance to future industrial end users end users of graphene/2D material growth technology in particular regarding high value added application areas such as OLEDs, optoelectronics, biosensors, THz devices and integrated photonics/quantum computing.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Security and Diplomacy

URL http://www-g.eng.cam.ac.uk/hofmann/
 
Description We have developed CVD manufacturing technology for graphene and related 2D materials that fed into a network of acadamic and industrial partners. Aixtron UK is selling CVD reactors that use our recipes and they have also developed new reactors with our input. With Thales and CNRS we have developed new technology for graphene and h-BN based magnetic tunnel junctions and novel spintronic devices, whereby our new manufacturing strategy proved essential to achieve clean interfaces. With Phllips we developed graphene integration routes into OLED devices. We also developed new technology for 2D material based nanopore sensing, graphene based (bio)sensor platforms, graphene based THz and X-Ray radiation detectors, graphene based ultra-barrier films, graphene based LC devices and novel lenses and 2D based integrated opto-electronics. We successfully addressed many key questions of industrial materials development and paved the way for many follow-up projects. We established ourselves as world-leading in CVD based 2D manufacturing technology. We also have built-up collaboration with NPL to drive forward product and materials standardisation and metrology for these novel materials.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Advancing the commercial applications of graphene
Amount £62,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Aixtron CASE studentship
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Funding ID CASE studenship with Aixtron UK 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2018
 
Description Aixtron student placement
Amount £4,500 (GBP)
Organisation Aixtron Limited 
Sector Private
Country Unknown
Start 02/2018 
End 04/2018
 
Description CDT studentship
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L016087/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2018
 
Description DNA nanostructures for multiplexed protein sensing Sponsor: Oxford Nanopore Ltd., Oxford, UK
Amount £290,000 (GBP)
Organisation Oxford Nanopore Technologies 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2019
 
Description Development of Graphene based THz and X-Ray radiation detectors - ESA contract with U. Leicester
Amount £89,010 (GBP)
Funding ID ESA Contract No. 4000113558/15/F/MOS 
Organisation European Space Agency 
Sector Public
Country France
Start 04/2015 
End 09/2016
 
Description EFRI-2DARE project funded by AFOSR (Air Force Office of Scientific Research, USA) on Novel electro-optically active nanopores (NPs) in atomically thin membranes
Amount $150,000 (USD)
Organisation US Air Force European Office of Air Force Research and Development 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 01/2020
 
Description EPSRC-JSPS Core-to-Core Collaboration in Spintronics and Advanced Materials
Amount £986,782 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P005152/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2021
 
Description European Research Council, Consolidator Grant 2015
Amount € 1,950,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 647144 - DesignerPores 
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 07/2015 
End 06/2020
 
Description Future Photonics Hub Innovation Fund Southampton
Amount £68,806 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description Innovate UK - Emerging and Enabling Round 3 competition
Amount £1,053,150 (GBP)
Funding ID Grant application 6724 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 11/2020
 
Description NPL CASE studentship
Amount £32,300 (GBP)
Organisation NPL Ltd 
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description Realising the graphene revolution
Amount £92,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M507751/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Translational Prize Fellowship - Dr P. Braeuninger-Weimer
Amount £36,086 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Title Research data supporting Dirac-Point Shift by Carrier Injection Barrier in Graphene Field-Effect Transistor Operation at Room Temperature 
Description Electrical transport data of graphene devices from EPSRC funded project: GRAPHTED (EP/K016636/1). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Research data supporting: Contactless graphene conductivity mapping on a wide range of substrates with terahertz time-domain reflection spectroscopy 
Description The data was used to produce the figures in the linked publication and it consists of the data for the individual figures. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Company Name HexagonFab Limited 
Description It is our mission to design novel nanomaterials for innovative future applications in biotechnology, sensing and quantum computing. Our technology is scalable and sustainable. At HexagonFab, we bring these materials from the laboratory to the market. By scaling to the nanoscale, we not only reduce material input, but also enable novel technologies. New material properties open the door to new application that have so far been unmet with conventional material approaches. Our material will enable affordable, ultrasensitive point of care bio-sensors, advanced photo-detectors and controlled single photon emitters for quantum computing. We offer individual 2D materials like graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN). But going a step further, we are the world's first company to offer vertical stacks of 2D materials, commonly known as van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures, on an industrial scale. Our advanced process technology allows the assembly of 2D materials with atomic precision layer by layer. We can engineer material properties at unprecedented level for your specific requirements. 
Year Established 2017 
Impact 2 paying customers within first months of incorperation.
Website http://www.hexagonfab.com
 
Description Cambridge Science Centre - Amazing Graphene 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Organised series of exhibits, demonstrations and talks on graphene in one-day event at Cambridge Science Centre
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.cambridgesciencecentre.org/
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibit titled: Mind the (nano) gap: how nanotechnology opens up new routes for biosensing and healthcare. Description: Mind the (Nano) Gap brings together an exciting set of exhibits covering different areas of research in nanoscience, which deals with seeing and manipulating objects at the tiniest of scales - a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair! Nature is an expert nanotechnologist as this is what makes geckos able to climb on walls and lotus leaves that don't get mucky in ponds. In the lab, 'nano' sized gaps at this tiny scale can help researchers control light, electrons, or the flow of molecules to help measure targets ranging from food allergens to neurotransmitters that tell us about mental health, and also enable faster DNA sequencing for personalised medicine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/events/mind-nano-gap-how-nanotechnology-opens-new-routes-biose...
 
Description Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibit titled: "Mind the (Nano) Gap: How nanotechnology opens up new routes for biosensing and healthcare" for Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2018/summer-science-exhibition/