The S$15 million nano-science and nano-technology graphene research facility is the first of its kind in Asia dedicated to graphene

Graphene research in Singapore is given a new boost with the inauguration of a new S$15 million Micro and Nano-Fabrication Facility at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Graphene Research Centre. This is the first nano-science and nano-technology facility of its kind in Asia dedicated to graphene.
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, who inaugurated the new research facility, said, “Graphene is one of the most interesting and promising materials of our time although its unique properties have yet to be fully explored. NUS already has substantial strengths in this field and the establishment of the Graphene Research Centre will provide state-of-the-art facilities and expertise to advance our work and develop new applications. We look forward to seeing novel discoveries and innovative breakthroughs emerge from the Centre, putting Singapore in the forefront

of research in revolutionary new materials.”The Graphene Research Centre was set up in August 2010 as part of the NUS Faculty of Science. The Centre is involved in projects totaling over S$100 million, and aims to be a world leader in the emerging field of graphene research. Helmed by Professor Antonio H. Castro Neto, who is one of the world leaders in the area of graphene research, the Centre is set up under scientific advising by Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov, from Manchester University in United Kingdom and winners of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of graphene.

There is currently an intensive global drive towards graphene commercialisation. Graphene grown by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) has the potential to be a game changer in the industry of transparent conductive coatings (TCC) essential for the modern display, lighting touch panel, and photovoltaic industries. This market is expected to reach annually US$55 billion by 2020. On the other hand, solution-processed graphene is expected to have a major impact on batteries, catalysts and composite materials, reaching a projected market value of US$675 million in 2020.

Elaborating on the mission of the Centre, Prof Neto said, “The Graphene Research Centre will play a globally leading role in studying graphene and its derivatives. Our research addresses immediate growth, synthesis, transfer and doping problems of existing approaches. We aim to break current technological bottlenecks for industry adoption by meeting the industrial benchmarks of conductivity and optical transparency for graphene and by improving size and conductivity of graphene flakes from solution at a low cost. Our long-term goal is to create a strong patent portfolio that will allow for start-up spin-offs and for commercialisation via the route of IP licensing to industry leaders.”

The Graphene Research Centre comprises a state-of-the-art clean room facility (800 m2 of operational space and 200 m2 of office space) and laboratory space (1,000 m2). The Centre currently has 19 researchers spearheading 16 research projects that look into areas ranging from medicine to nano-technology.

To bring materials research in Singapore to a higher level, scientists at the Graphene Research Centre are studying a new class of atomically thin material that has functionalities that graphene does not. The Centre is also expanding to bring in more researchers to expand the scope of research work.

More information about the Graphene Research Centre is available at: http://gc.science.nus.edu.sg/