Royal Holloway is among a select group of top universities to receive £21.5 million in government funding to explore commercial uses for graphene.
Announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne just after Christmas, the funding will focus attention on the so-called ‘super-material’ graphene, one of the thinnest, strongest and most conductive materials known to man.
The project at Royal Holloway will focus on using graphene to develop new equipment that can operate at high frequencies. This could include devices useful for security purposes, which can detect the presence of explosives and drugs remotely, as well as those that could be used in health screening to produce detailed images of blood vessels.
A large part of the work will focus on developing epitaxial graphene, a material that stands at the forefront of succeeding silicon. The aim is to test out this material at terahertz (THz) frequencies, an important challenge since the range holds exciting possibilities in the field of deep space observation, security and health screening.
Leading the project, Dr Vladimir Antonov from the Physics Department at Royal Holloway said: “It is fantastic that the extensive research that we currently carry out in the field of THz technology can be now be applied to epitaxial grapheme – a material of the future.
“The funding will allow us to expand our capabilities and get involved in a wide collaboration on exploitation of unique graphene technology.”
The project will be carried out in collaboration with National Physical Laboratory and University College London.