Wanted. Partners with vision

Capitalising on Paragraf’s innovative process for direct deposition of graphene on semiconductor compatible substrates demands progressive partners with vision and dynamism. We are actively seeking partnerships to develop or enhance products and applications in the fields of:

SENSORS: A major benefit of Paragraf’s deposition technology is the lack of contamination associated with metal catalysts and transfer techniques. This gives rise to high purity graphene, with a high carrier mobility, ideal for sensing technologies. The technology also gives rise to excellent on wafer, wafer to wafer, and batch to batch graphene material uniformity. Examples of sensors which can benefit from this technology are magnetic sensors, proximity sensors, current sensors, temperature sensors, infrared sensors and pressure sensors.

SEMICONDUCTOR TECHNOLOGIES: Paragraf’s graphene deposition process is silicon and compound semiconductor compatible. It is performed with existing semiconductor industry infrastructure. Paragraf therefore has the capability of combining graphene with these material systems for advanced device integration. Applications include diodes, transistors, modulators and light emitting diodes.

BIOSENSORS: Paragraf has the unique ability to functionalise wafer-scale sheets of graphene, giving them selectivity towards a wide variety of biomarkers, including DNA, RNA, antigens, antibodies, enzymes and even small molecules. Using on-chip arrays of graphene biosensors, functionalisation can be tailored, with off-the-shelf reagents, such that a plethora of pathogens can be detected. Selectivity is complemented by the inherent high sensitivity of Paragraf’s graphene, leading to biosensors which are able to detect extremely low concentrations of pathogens in fluids and gases.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Paragraf has a partnership to create graphene-enhanced solar cells. Paragraf has also completed an Innovate UK project on using graphene to harvest energy from ionic solutions such as seawater and wastewater.

ENERGY STORAGE: Paragraf has expertise in creating electronic devices for energy storage using graphene, including capacitors and batteries.

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Existing partnership projects

Photo inside CERN

Negligible planar Hall effect – CERN

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists employ the largest particle accelerators in the world to study how our world is built at the fundamental level by colliding sub-atomic particles. These accelerators rely on large numbers of normal and superconducting magnets to steer and focus the particle beam to their collision points.

Paragraf has partnered with the Magnetic Measurements section at CERN, which is in charge of testing these magnets using the latest available techniques. Together, CERN and Paragraf have made the remarkable discovery that Paragraf’s Graphene Hall effect Sensor (GHS) exhibits negligible ‘planar Hall effect’ owing to the 2D nature of graphene.

Existing Hall effect sensors all exhibit planar Hall effects, which manifest as artefacts in magnetic measurements and significantly limit measurement resolution. The GHS has therefore unlocked the potential for new kinds of high accuracy magnet characterisation techniques, which this exciting collaboration will aim to develop.

Hand holding a light source

Graphene Optoelectronic Devices – Queen Mary University, London

Optoelectronic devices that use indium tin oxide (ITO) are abundant. Examples include display screens using organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), thin film photovoltaics, solar cells, and touch panels. However, indium is on the EU Critical Materials List, and over two-thirds of the world’s scarce reserves are in China. At a current price of £360/kg, global demand for Indium is £2.6bn/year and rising. Therefore, investigating optoelectronic devices that use materials other than ITO is of paramount importance.

Queen Mary University, London is collaborating with Paragraf and performing graphene research to study and develop a wide range of graphene devices. Paragraf ‘next-generation’ graphene will also be assessed by the University as a potential ITO replacement for OLEDs. Solar cells enhanced with graphene and solid-state light emitting diodes enhanced with graphene will also be developed. The project is funded by a £500,000 award from Innovate UK.

Image of solar panel

Solar cell efficiency improvement – Verditek

Traditional solar cells have effectively reached their maximum level of efficiency, at around 23-24%. Improvements of <0.5% are considered highly significant. Performance is constrained by the metal mesh used to disperse current across the cell, and protect it from damage. The shading effect of the mesh prevents around 3% of the surface area from absorbing light.

Depositing optically transparent, highly conductive graphene directly onto the solar cell surface facilitates current dispersal and eliminates shading. In principle, this will improve solar cell efficiency by 3%. Paragraf is working in partnership with Verditek, which is supplying solar cells for graphene deposition. A project to prove the principle has been completed, and a further Joint Development Partnership has now been agreed to advance the technology for the first large-scale graphene silicon solar cell.