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Graphene industry makes big steps in 2018

Marko Spasenovic

Graphenea marked 2018 by introducing a host of new products geared towards industrial and commercial use of graphene, hiring more experienced staff and continuing to provide high-quality graphene for cutting-edge research and industrial use.

Already in January we launched sales of 6” graphene wafers on all our standard substrates as well as user-provided ones. Aside from demonstrating the same high quality over larger areas, the 6” diameter wafer is a landmark as smaller wafers such as the 4" ones are used for R&D only. The new wafer is of an industrial size for small scale devices, meaning that the new product can be integrated in commercial fabrication lines, for applications such as MEMS, NEMS, electronics, photonics, and sensing.

Photo: GFET – graphene field effect transistors

In May, we introduced GFET – graphene field effect transistors to our product portfolio. The GFET is the most commonly used graphene device, for applications ranging from detection of dangerous chemicals, magnetic sensors, biomedical applications, to high-speed photodetectors for optical communications. Researchers wanting to explore this rich palette of uses had to, until now, first spend time learning how to make graphene devices or establish collaborations with graphene experts. The availability of our GFET product off-the-shelf significantly reduces the barriers of entry for those researchers, letting them bypass the device fabrication stage and focus on their targets.

Following up on GFET and 6” wafers, Graphenea launched a graphene foundry service for bespoke graphene circuits printed on the 6” wafers. The service allows customers to request small batches (1-3 wafers) with their own design manufactured by Graphenea, with feature sizes as small as 5 micrometers. With devices passing stringent quality control and a guaranteed high yield, this service becomes equivalent to the business model that prevails in the silicon microchip industry, marking a milestone in industrialization and commercialization of graphene.

Maintaining high quality, keeping up with industry trends and participating in cutting-edge scientific research requires a strong team of experts. We bolstered our research team with the addition of a research scientist with a PhD in graphene and a process engineer with experience at one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies.

Apart from all the hard work, our team had opportunities to enjoy and reap some benefits. In September, Graphene Week 2018 took place in San Sebastian, our hometown. We were happy to greet the graphene community both at the conference and at our headquarters, where conference visitors had the chance to see our production facilities up close. We also held a raffle and gave out one dinner for two at a three-Michelin-star restaurant!

Photo: Conference participants visit Graphenea HQ as part of Graphene Week 2018

Graphenea received an Innovative Company award at Donostia Innovation Week, in the category of young companies. The deputy mayor complemented us for offering the city high-value employment opportunities, thus favouring the attractiveness of Donostia for attraction and return of talent. And as a way of giving back to the community, our company joined The Engine network at MIT near Boston, our home in the USA. As part of The Engine we will be able to transfer our knowledge and experience to young entrepreneurs in the Tough Tech sector, providing them with much needed guidance for successful start-up development.

We are looking forward to an equally successful 2019!


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