With the Grafoid sponsored Graphene 2012 conference just two weeks away I thought it would be a good idea to mention some of the things that can be expected from the event. In particular I think special mention of the applications workshop is deserved as for the average investor this is the real subject of concern. Sure the conference will have more than enough to satisfy the tastes of the most graphene immersed and up-to-date of scientists, however, for those looking to invest in the development of graphene as a material of world changing potential then the sit up and listen part of the show will be Parallel Workshop 4: Applications.
Headlining this workshop will be four invited speakers from Airbus, Nokia, Texas Instruments and IBM, with papers covering graphene technology in a number of guises. The main speakers will be promoting an emphasis on mobile phones, nanoelectronics and transistors, but the workshop will then open up for a broader array of oral presentations both informative and persuasive. Expect discussion of the whole range of possible applications, from quantum dots to graphene films; and with representatives from some of Europe's leading universities also lending their thoughts and findings, the chance to discover the very cutting edge of research should not be missed.
With investment and market forces at the forefront of most people's minds the discussion from Grafoid's Gary Economo and Dr. Gordon Chiu will provide some insight into the problem of economic viability. Graphene production and financial considerations have been a limiting factor in graphene's story to date, however, this situation is soon to change, with suggestions in Dr. Chiu's paper of how these concerns could soon be eliminated.
"Hummer's method resolves the scalability issue for graphene oxide but sacrifices quality. Growing graphene via chemical vapor deposition produces high quality graphene, but fails on economics. The challenge for scientists today is to produce pristine graphene for fifty cents per pound or less - down from its current cost of $20,000 per pound... Eliminating costs is the key to commercial success. Universal market acceptance by the investment community will come once mass producers of automobile, electronics and infrastructural components are assured of a sustainable, low-cost, viable graphene source."
With the economics of large scale production satisfactorily contained, discussion of future applications begin to sound more realistic. Graphene films and wafers will be the subject of a number of presentations, including those by Graphenea, Stefan Hertel from the University of Erlangen, and Aixtron. Graphenea's presentation suggests a number of potential uses of graphene films for which proof of concept has already been proven.
Most applications to date have been focused in the Energy Storage applications mainly in batteries and ultracapacitors. Using Graphene films to enhanced electrodes has yield in an exceptional performance improvement for these devices. Graphene enhanced Solar cells are also an intensive research topic. The other group of leading applications is related to Electronics and Semiconductors mainly in the High Frequency Electronics applications. In
some cases, proof of concepts and prototypes has been developed. Transparent conductors, Biosensors and Advanced Composites complete the list of leading innovations using Graphene films.
The conference boasts 122 confirmed presentations, 546 participants and 214 posters over four days so there will be plenty to satisfy the whole range of attendees. The topics will traverse all the stages of development from synthesis, spectroscopies, chemistry, quantum transport, magnetism and spintronics, to nanoelectromechanical systems, applications and related 2-dimensional materials.
Registration for the conference remains open with prices set at 490 Euros for students and 660 Euros for seniors. The price includes access to the conference, the whole exhibition area, workshops, one-to-one meetings, and conference materials, as well as to 2 cocktail lunches, conference dinner and coffee breaks.