Professor Ferrari to head Cambridge Graphene Centre

by Sally March

Crystalline structure of graphene

Pembroke Fellow Andrea Ferrari has been appointed Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre. The centre, which starts its activities on 1 February, aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry in harnessing the potential of graphene. A dedicated research facility with state-of-the-art equipment will open at the end of 2013.

Graphene is a one-atom thick layer of graphite, which is exceptionally strong, yet also lightweight and flexible, enables electrons to flow faster than silicon and functions as a transparent conductor. The research undertaken by the Cambridge Graphene Centre will hopefully lead to new devices and applications which could then be commercialised by industry.

Cambridge received a grant of £12M from the UK Government via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in December. This has been complemented by a further £13M from over 20 corporate partners. A further £11M of European Research Council funding will support activities with Lancaster University and the Graphene Institute in Manchester.

Another Pembroke Fellow, Professor Clare Grey, will lead the activities targeting the use of graphene in super-capacitors and batteries for energy storage. The research could, ultimately, provide a more effective energy storage for electric vehicles, storage on the grid, as well as boosting the energy storage possibilities of personal devices such as MP3 players and mobile phones.

Further information on the Cambridge Graphene Centre can be found here.

Photo credit: AlexanderAlUS – The ideal crystalline structure of graphene is a hexagonal grid.