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Graphene on a Large Scale: a Cambridge Company has Finally Succeeded

Paragraf, a company emerged from the University of Cambridge, is producing graphene wafers and some electronic devices based on this material, which could be used in transistors with speeds up to ten times faster than current silicon chips.

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Paragraf, a company emerged from the University of Cambridge, is producing graphene wafers and some electronic devices based on this material, which could be used in transistors with speeds up to ten times faster than current silicon chips.

Graphene was proclaimed as the material that would revolutionize the technological industry of the future, but after years of waiting it does not finish fulfilling everything that it promised, the problem? The difficulty at the time of manufacturing it in good quality and a sufficient volume to supply all the demand. Something that could have gotten this company from the University of Cambridge.

The sheets produced by Paragraf are up to eight inches in diameter, enough for commercial devices. Carbon formed with a single atomic layer of thickness would be ready to be part of the first device created by this company in the coming months, thus demonstrating its commercial utility and move from the theory to a really practical level after so many years.

This is how graphene is woven, the two-dimensional material of the future
Graphene is a material stronger than steel, with properties of electricity conduction greater than copper and very flexible and transparent. For these reasons it has long been considered the hope of the technological future.

However, the traditional way of producing it in a high volume, requires the use of copper as a catalyst, an option that contaminates graphene, preventing it from forming part of electronic devices. Until now, a Cambridge study would have found another method that would preserve the quality of graphene.

The method developed by Professor Sir Colin Humphrey and his research group would be getting better results than those achieved so far by other universities or companies such as IBM, Intel and Samsung.

Both Humphrey and his research colleagues, Drs Simon Thomas and Ivor Guiney, are part of the board of directors of Paragraf, a small company financed by Cambridge that has already presented eight patents and aims to boost the use of graphene in many industries.

What improvements does graphene promise?

Thanks to the qualities contained in this “miraculous” material, experts agree that it could improve many of the components that are part of devices such as mobile phones. With the large-scale production of this material could be made more powerful processors (up to a thousand GHz of power) that would not heat up less with the use. And the same would happen with the batteries of the devices that would increase up to 10 times their autonomy.

Also related to mobiles and precisely with a very fashionable feature right now, the possibilities of flexion of graphene would make easier the manufacture of flexible screens and that would be more resistant than the current ones.

Another section of our mobile that would benefit would be the cameras whose sensors would be much more sensitive and would achieve higher quality images even in very low light situations.

Far from the smartphone industry, it is speculated that graphene can be used for many other uses such as making paints that absorb energy or improvements in health with implants for damaged tissues. However, all these possibilities will have to wait until the large-scale production of graphene ends up taking off.

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