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Changing our material future, layer by layer
Date:12/20/2012

The proposal, which will involve researchers from the Universities of Manchester, Cambridge and Lancaster, has been awarded 13.4 million Euros (around 11m) to form a "Synergy Group" by the European Research Council (ERC).

It will aim to utilise two-dimensional substances, such as wonder material graphene, to engineer new types of materials which are just a few atoms thick, but nevertheless have the power to revolutionise the future development of devices such as solar cells, and flexible and transparent electronics.

Starting with one atom-thick substances which possess remarkable properties, the group will focus on ways in which they can be layered up to form 'heterostructures'. These heterostructures will still be just a few atoms thick, but will combine the properties of the different two-dimensional materials which comprise them, effectively enabling developers to embed the functions of a device into its very fabric.

For example, the research team envisage combining an atomic layer which functions as a sensor, with layers that function variously as an amplifier, transistor, or solar cell, for power generation. The resulting material, still just a few atomic layers in thickness, would be capable of running a whole circuit.

The award to launch the project was announced by the ERC as part of its first competition for 'Synergy Grants', which were introduced last year on a pilot basis. It will bring together the talents of the Nobel Prize-winner, Professor Kostya Novoselov at Manchester, Professor Andrea Ferrari at Cambridge, and Professor Vladimir Falko at Lancaster.

The team will be part of the UK's Graphene Global Research and Technology Hub, including the 61m National Graphene Institute, which is being developed at The University of Manchester to continue its world-leading and collaborative work in the field.

Widely regarded as a wonder material on account of its numerous capabilities, graphene is a two-di
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Contact: Daniel Cochlin
daniel.cochlin@manchester.ac.uk
0044-161-275-8387
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

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