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Chalmers University of Technology will receive the lion's share of a SEK 40 million Swedish research grant for the investigation of 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 close collaboration between Chalmers and the universities of Uppsala and Linköping.
“We are now achieving critical mass, and will benefit from valuable cross-fertilization between several research areas, all of which are involved in graphene,” said Mikael Fogelström, the Project Coordinator. “The money will be used for everything from producing graphene to developing a variety of products, with basic research into experimental and theoretical physics along the way.”
The effort will form the Swedish spearhead in international graphene research, which has become a hot topic since André Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester, UK, won the Nobel Physics Prize in 2010 for discovering the material.
The graphene production process needs to be improved and made more reproducible. The researchers will develop reliable synthesis methods designed to produce high quality graphene surfaces. Following that, the material will be investigated and processed at the nano level, ultimately to be used for specific components with far better performance than today's electronic devices.
“Graphene has enormous potential in high frequency electronics, and Chalmers is at the forefront of this research,” Fogelström said. “This material can open up a whole world of new possibilities.”
Now that graphene research at Chalmers has stable financing for five years, the researchers are thinking of setting up a centre for graphene.
“It would be a good idea to get together with more graphene research groups, and perhaps form a national research centre”, Fogelström continued. “That would be a good step to take for pursuing EU flagship funds.”