Graphene – a strong and flexible all-rounder


The graphene initiative coordinated by Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology has been chosen as the second of the EU's FET flagship projects. The graphene flagship has allocated funding of one billion euros over ten years. VTT has a significant role in a work package concentrating on development of flexible electronics.

Graphene, a layer of carbon the thickness of one atom, is one of the hottest topics in material science, and the subject of intensive investment by the EU through its flagship scheme. The main aim of the project is to transfer graphene from the research laboratory to the commercial product. The research effort covers the entire value chain from materials production to components and system integration.

VTT’s focus in the project is on graphene processing, device development and characterisation, and on implementation of demonstrators. Development work also covers graphene-based flexible energy solutions, antennas, sensors, transparent conductors and energy storage components. VTT’s partners in the work package are Nokia, STM, LETI, CNR, Graphenea, Varta , the University of Cambridge and the University of Lille.

The existence of graphene was scientifically proven in 2004 and research into the material is just taking its first steps. Graphene’s characteristics are top notch: extremely strong, flexible, thin and transparent, and electrically highly conductive. With a palette this generous, the sky is the limit when it comes to application development. The first graphene-related products on the market are estimated to be sensors, sports equipment and flexible electronics. A few decades of development work may even see graphene replacing silicon.

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