• Natalia GARCIA-... profile
    Natalia GARCIA-...
    29 July 2019 - updated 1 year ago
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About the innovator

GRAPHENEA is the first European CVD graphene producer that manufactures and supplies high quality graphene materials to leading companies and research laboratories worldwide. It is a start-up company established in 2010 as a joint venture between private investors and the Nanoscience Cooperative Research Centre, nanoGUNE Consolider (nanoGUNE). It has a solid early investor group that has renewed their support in the company with follow-on investments. GRAPHENEA’s current shareholders are the following: Founders (91%) and Repsol Corporate Venture Capital (9%).
It follows a separate technological approach for graphene materials and graphene oxide production with two distinct business lines; graphene oxide (Graphenea Energy) and semiconductors (Graphenea Semiconductor).
GRAPHENEA's vision is to develop the graphene industry in order to add value to the nanomaterial industry. It has an extensive expertise in the synthesis, characterization and manipulation of high quality monolayer graphene films and has developed a very clean transfer process for these films.
The company has achieved milestones at both technology development and business targets and holds a relevant track record as a supplier for reputed research centres and companies such as BASF, 3M, Repsol or PPG. Here are the most relevant milestones achieved in the past seven years,

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What is the innovation

Innovative graphene-based electronic devices have been studied, demonstrated and prototyped during the Graphene FET Flagship project Graphene Electronic Devices include GFETs (Graphene Field-Effect Transistors) that are multipurpose chips that can be used in advanced photonics (photosensors, x-ray sensors, optical communications) and sensors (chemical sensors, biosensors, hall sensors, pressure sensors) among other applications. Currently, GFET devices are manually produced in a labour intensive, small scale (individual prototypes), small wafer size (<50mm) and very low production yield (high % of device failure). The research community and industry have a great interest in these devices. The current Semiconductor manufacturers (Fabs) are focused in very large volume markets (+ 1 million units) so there is an opportunity for a Graphene Fab (GFAB) that produces GFETs according to customer’s specifications. The objective of this project is to assess the feasibility of launching a new “Graphene Electronic Devices Fab” (GFAB) business that will offer Graphene Electronic Device fabrication to the industry and research centres. Specially, the so called GFETs (Graphene Field Effect Transistors) have been developed during the FET Graphene Flagship project. GFETs are a special type of Graphene Electronic Device that offer higher performance for a wide range of applications. The Graphene Electronic Devices must be produced under certified cleanroom manufacturing environment (ISO verified) using industry standard wafer sizes (150mm, 200mm and/or 300mm) offering a reliable, cost-competitive, fast and high yield product (ideally +95% yield). A complete supply chain must be defined by the incorporation of partners in the materials producers, IC (integrated circuits) design, semiconductor fabs, and equipment manufacturers sectors.
This business will have an outstanding impact in the photonics and sensors industries and will accelerate the adoption of Graphene technology in other applications.

Out of the lab. Into the market

The Graphene FET Flagship project has developed a technology capable to producing Graphene Field-Effect Transistors (GFET). We propose to explore the feasibility of launching a new Graphene Electronic Device Fab (GFAB) business that would allow the exploitation of a graphene field effect transistor (GFET) technology in order to open new opportunities in the photonic/optoelectronic (optical communications, photosensors, X-ray sensors) and sensor (chemical sensors, biosensors, hall sensors, pressure sensors) industries by providing a ready to be implemented platform to end users such as research centres, SMEs and large industries.
At present, there are no commercially available GFABs in the market that produce GFET chips. GFET chips have the potential to increase sensitivity up to 300% and increase resolution and response time up to 60% compared versus current technology (novelty and disruptive positioning). As a consequence, different researchers independently produce small numbers of GFETs with different designs and without following any industry standards.
● The objective of this project is to assess the feasibility of launching a new “Graphene Electronic Devices Fab” (GFAB) business that will offer Graphene Electronic Device fabrication to the industry and research centres.
● The proposed GFAB would be in a position to provide a multipurpose transistor that would be required for initiating the commercialisation of graphene enabled electronic devices.
Currently, GFETs are produced in a labour intensive manner on a small scale (individual prototype units) using small wafer sizes (<50mm) and typically with very low production yield (high % of the chips fails). The current Semiconductor manufacturers (Fabs) are focused on very large volume markets (+ 1 million units) so there is an opportunity for a Graphene Fab (GFAB) that produces GFETs according to customer’s specifications.
The GFAB will allow the future commercialisation of graphene products by filling a clear gap in the market and engaging industrial end users by providing the first commercial chips with GFETs. The GFAB will produce 100/200mm graphene wafers (Figure 1 shows an example of a commercial silicon wafer) containing many chips (120 chips/wafer) each of which includes many GFETs (at least 24 GFETs/chip).

Benefits of participation in Horizon 2020

This project converted proof of concept processes developed during the Graphene FET Flagship into industrial applications and systems. Specifically, we took the technology developed during the FET project to real production. This technology will bring significant innovation to a different array of industries benefiting from the extraordinary properties of Graphene as a transducer component within a sensor device, where it provides enhanced sensitivity (up to 300% increase) and selectivity.
Economic benefits of the project: Global biosensors market is expected to reach USD 21.17 billion by 2020. Biosensors, owing to their capability to resolve various analytical issues in diverse areas such as medicine, pharmacology, food & agriculture safety, are expected to witness a rapid growth in demand over the next years.
Increasing demand for specific detection techniques for early diagnosis in the healthcare sector is expected to drive the overall biosensors market during the next decade. A new generation of biosensors are promised by the modification of GFETs with a layer that specifically binds to a target analyse. Graphene FETs can be configured to be highly selective and sensitive to species such as viruses, bacteria, DNA and cancer cells with some researchers reporting sensitivity at the single-cell level.
Additionally, this new GFAB business is allowing other researchers to launch new ventures into the market by reducing dramatically the time to market and cost of these Graphene devices.

This innovation was funded via H2020 project Gfab

Team behind the innovation



/futurium/en/file/graphenea-gipuzkoas-best-young-company-award-2018Graphenea - Gipuzkoa’s Best Young Company Award 2018