Graphene Frontiers to Develop Roll-to-Roll Graphene Production, with NSF Support

A number of graphene manufacturing companies have appeared in the last few months - seeking to capitalize on the wave of investment and interest in the development of graphene-based products in a variety of industries. One of the most interesting companies to appear is Graphene Frontiers, a spin-out from the University of Pennsylvania.

A CVD furnace used to deposit a single layer of graphene on a substrate, such as copper. Image credit: Graphene Frontiers.

Graphene Frontiers is based on a novel technology developed at UPenn, which allows continous, roll-to-roll production of single-layer graphene at atmospheric pressure.

This is in contrast to conventional CVD graphene production, which requires high vacuum furnaces. Easing these extreme requirements should make the process much cheaper to operate.

The team behind Graphene Frontiers has received significant support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

In 2011, after researchers Prof. Charlie Johnson and Dr Zhengtang Luo, and CEO Michael Patterson created their spin-out with the help of UPenn's UPstart program, the NSF awarded them one of their inaugural "Innovation Corps" prizes for entrepreneurship.

Schematic of the roll-to-roll graphene printing process being developed by Graphene Frontiers with the help of an NSF grant. Image credit: Graphene Frontiers.

In September 2013, Graphene Frontiers was awarded a $744,600 grant by the NSF. This grant will be used to further develop the company's roll-to-roll graphene printing process - increasing the capacity and tweaking the technology to make it ready for the demands of industrial-scale use.

Scaling up doesn't mean moving out though - Graphene Frontiers are happy to stay in Philadelphia where the company was born. CEO Michael Patterson told AZoNano:

"Graphene Frontiers will stay in Philadelphia to complete work on scaling up production. We believe that the unique combination of technology, tools, and talent available here makes Philadelphia the best place in the world to build an advanced materials and nanotechnology company."

Graphene's unique conductivity, strength, and transparency have led to a myriad of suggested applications in both industrial and commercial fields. Full realization of graphene's potential could well be disruptive to many of these fields, but current limitations in manufacturing volume, and in the quality of the product, limit the rate of adoption.

Companies like Graphene Frontiers are looking to overcome these limitations by developing viable industrial manufacturing processes for the "wonder-material". The team hope that, with the help of the NSF grant, their technology will allow graphene to significantly impact huge markets like electronics, sensors, and water desalination.

“Graphene will allow us to improve performance, lower cost and reduce the environmental impact of several billion-dollar industries.

We are proud to have support from the National Science Foundation, and together with industry partners, we expect to bring graphene films to market for use as filtration membranes in 2015 and as a key component in flexible electronics in 2016.”

Michael Patterson, CEO of Graphene Frontiers

A graphene film on a copper substrate as it exits the CVD furnace. Image credit: Graphene Frontiers

More Information



Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Graphene Frontiers. (2022, September 09). Graphene Frontiers to Develop Roll-to-Roll Graphene Production, with NSF Support. AZoNano. Retrieved on April 23, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Graphene Frontiers. "Graphene Frontiers to Develop Roll-to-Roll Graphene Production, with NSF Support". AZoNano. 23 April 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Graphene Frontiers. "Graphene Frontiers to Develop Roll-to-Roll Graphene Production, with NSF Support". AZoNano. (accessed April 23, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Graphene Frontiers. 2022. Graphene Frontiers to Develop Roll-to-Roll Graphene Production, with NSF Support. AZoNano, viewed 23 April 2024,


  1. Karl Hensel Karl Hensel United States says:

    I have been following graphene on my site for some time now.  The so called experts claim.  If the costs for graphene can not be brought down to $1.00 or so per square inch for products such as solar cells, leds, oled, processors and down to pennies per square inch for applications such as monitors and televisions and cell screens.  Graphene will never be a viable replacement for silicon.

    From what the video claims.  Roll to roll makes these benchmarks possible.  This indeed could be the game changer and the model for which the CVD process is yo be modeled after.  It is very exciting indeed.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.