César Vitório Franco
Full Professor of Chemistry
Departamento de Química Universidade Federal de Santa
Catarina - Campus Universitário Trindade
Florianópolis - SC – Brasil - CEP:
+55 48 3721-6848 extension: 214
At the meeting I attended the second week of September 2013, the TNT2013
Seville (Spain) - Trends in NanoTechnology , had an entire section devoted to
graphene , as it is fashionable in all the meetings of materials and
nanotechnology. Apart from academic presentations on the progress achieved in
the laboratory and theoretical study of graphene there was a very special section
entitled Parallel Session - Graphene - Industrial Session. In this section the
players in the production and application of graphene ( BASF , NOKIA , and other
small start up's ) made quite transparent and honest consideration of its industrial
use this new nanomaterial . Repeating what we saw with the carbon nanotubes ,
the fad now centered in this academic studies of graphene generating many
promises, generous sums of public funds , but without application prospects in the
relevant industry , for lack of real prospects for practical application and no
prospects for production scale. Graphene is prohibitively expensive to make if one
rely on figures of 2008, that estimate a cost $100 million to produce a single cubic
TNT2013 Seville (Spain) – Trends in NanoTechnology
Matthias Schwab (BASF SE, Germany) “Graphene Technology Plataform at
Amaia Zurustuza (GRAPHENEA, Spain) “Future Applications of Graphene”;
Paolo Bondavalli (Thalles Research & Tecnology, France) “Graphene related
materials for non-volatile resistive memories: a review”;
Stephano Borini (Nokia Research Center, UK) “Graphene-enabled innovative
solutions for consumer electronics.
At BASF graphene and graphene materials are currently being studied for several potential
fields of application. We have set up a graphene technology platform aiming at the systematic
investigation of this new carbon material fabricated either by top-down or bottom-up procedures.
Owing to its appealing electrical conductivity, graphene can be used for conductive formulations
and coatings as well as for polymer composite materials with antistatic properties.
Also, graphene may serve as a new carbon material thus replacing or complementing traditional
carbon black additives in lithium- ion batteries as well as activated carbons in supercapacitor devices.
It is also intended to evaluate graphene-based transparent conductive layers for their use in
displays, organic solar cells and organic light emitting diodes.
On a longer perspective the semi-conducting properties of graphene nanoribbons fabricated
from chemical bottom-up approaches shall be explored.
The talk will focus on the recent activities of BASF in the field of graphene and provide an
evaluation of this promising material from an industrial point of view.
Graphene has emerged as a new material with a very bright future. It is predicted that it
could be applied in many different fields ranging from energy, electronics, optoelectronics,
aerospace, lighting, and up to biotechnology to mention a few. Some of these applications will be
covered during this talk such as the use of graphene in future light harvesting devices , optical
transistors , organic light emitting diodes and flexible batteries .
However, unique properties are not the only requirement that has to be fulfilled in order to
be successful in the marketplace . There are other important factors that have to be taken into
consideration such as the availability of suitable industrial production methods, market
readiness/awareness, industrial readiness of value chains, an effective technological progress,
etc. Therefore, I will also try to shed some light into the industrial future of this material.
 J. Tielrooij, J. C. W. Song, S. A. Jensen, A. Centeno, A. Pesquera, A. Zurutuza Elorza, M. Bonn, L. S. Levitov, and F. H.
L. Koppens, Nature Physics, 248 (2013).
 J. Chen, M. Badioli, P. Alonso-González, S. Thongrattanasiri, F. Huth, J. Osmond, M. Spasenović, A. Centeno, A.
Pesquera, P. Godignon, A. Zurutuza Elorza, N. Camara, F. J. García de Abajo, R. Hillenbrand, and F. H. L. Koppens, Nature 487,
 D. Wei, S. Haque, A. Piers, J. Kivioja, T. Ryhänen, A. Pesquera, A. Centeno, B.Alonso, A. Chuvilin, and A. Zurutuza,
Journal of Materials Chemistry A 1, 3177 (2013).
 H. Alcalde, J. de la Fuente, B. Kamp and A. Zurutuza, Proceedings of the IEEE 101, 1793 (2013).
Amaia Zurustuza (GRAPHENEA, Spain) “Future Applications of Graphene
Zurutuza, scientific director for the Spanish technology firm Graphenea, which aims to produce
custom-made graphene products for industry, was also optimistic that the demands on graphene science
would help to yield "game- changing" new products.
} Zurutuza described graphene as a "disruptive material" – a material that provokes disruptions to power
balances in numerous materials and markets – and said that graphene was proving that it deserves this
} Graphenea, which numbers Nokia and Sigma-Aldrich among its customers, has a large portfolio of
graphene products under development, according to Zurutuza.
} Her presentation focused on solar cells, flexible batteries and optical transistors, applications on which the
company has worked with customers such as the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and the Technical
University of Madrid to bring to an advanced point of development.
} "We believe that the graphene market will grow," Zurutuza said, "but we know we have to address certain
challenges such as the cost, scalability and reliability of graphene material, plus the need to match its
properties with product applications."
} "And we must remember that it will take time to get there," she added.
} Unrealistic expectations about the potential powers of the super-carbon graphene could hinder the
material’s development cycle, according to some developers.
New technology enablers - such as new functional materials – may allow the mass scale production of
innovative electronic devices with outstanding performance and new form factors, driving innovation in
mobile industry. In particular, graphene and other 2D materials have already demonstrated a great
potential for radical technological innovations in a plenty of R&D fields, offering new opportunities in
electronics and optoelectronics.
We’ll report a few examples to illustrate how the development of graphene technology may impact on the
field of flexible electronics, providing solutions for sensing and energy storage. Highly sensitive graphenebased sensors have been demonstrated in various fields, spanning from chemical sensors to
photodetectors, and 2D materials are ideal candidates for the actual achievement of flexibility and
stretchability. In addition, the unique 2D nature of these materials can lead to unprecedented sensing
performances, paving the way to new applications in various fields such as consumer electronics, mobile
health and environmental monitoring.
Furthermore, graphene is an ideal material for the development of portable energy storage components,
thanks to the high specific surface area, the superior electrical conductivity, a high chemical tolerance and
a broad electrochemical window. Graphene technology can enable a combination of flexible components
with low-cost and low-power sensors, thus opening new avenues in the field of portable electronic
devices. Also, scalability to mass production together with compatibility with low cost manufacturing
processes, such as printing and roll-to-roll techniques, are major advantages of this technology.
Therefore, graphene may represent an important technological platform for the next generation of mobile
The players in the production and application of graphene are not sure
of their industrial success (BASF, NOKIA, andstart up’s) face major
Besides the lack of real prospects for practical application is the
problem of scale production and reducing costs
As it was with the carbon nanotubes, the fad is centered in academic
studies of graphene generating many promises, however no application
prospects in the relevant industry
Despite the opportunity however, the absence of production
scale-up has yet failed to pull graphene out of research and into
mass market, leaving many to ask;
How can the critical challenges and adoption barriers be overcome to
enable graphene’s commercialization?
Where do the viable applications lie that can be brought to
commercial scale? And when will it happen?
For commercially viable applications to be realized, there is a
pressing need for industrial and academic collaboration to drive
the scale up production of successful laboratory fabrication
Steps including the initiation of material standardization to ensure
quality control must be enacted, along with identification of the
bottlenecks in upscaling production so graphene can realize its
revolutionary potential. http://www.graphene-applicationsusa-2013.com/