Investigation and Optimisation of a Design-for-Manufacture Deposition Method for Single Layer Graphene

Academic Institution: University of the West of Scotland

Academic Supervisor: Professor Des Gibson

Industry Partner: RD Graphene Ltd

PhD Student: Connor Douglas

Start Date: 1st September 2019


RD Graphene Ltd (RDG) was incorporated in Scotland in 2016 after winning the prestigious Scottish Higgs Edge prize. The highly experienced and commercially driven innovative business leaders have invented the world’s first patent granted process for the cost-effective generation of graphene single layer in minimized process steps at room temperature, on any surface. This disruptive technology completely removes the barrier to commercialization.

It is generally accepted that the current methods for producing graphene films such as micromechanical exfoliation or chemical vapour deposition, vary in quality and quantity and difficulties associated with scale-up. Another problem with current state-of-the art technologies is the graphene layer requires transfer to the desired substrate, adding cost and quality impairment.

The RD graphene Ltd invention facilitates the production of one or more layers of graphene at room temperature, enabling graphene growth on temperature sensitive substrate materials such as plastics. As the RDG catalyst free process provides direct deposition of one or more graphene layers onto any desired substrate the overall process is faster and significantly cheaper than previous processes due to removal of a “transfer” stage. The combination of plasma and laser technology provides for the first time an in-line process for deposition of one or more graphene layers onto a substrate within an in-line manufacturing process.

Academic partner is the University of the West of Scotland`s Institute of Thin Films, Sensors & Imaging (ITFSI - ), a national centre of excellence for deposition and application of thin film research, development and commercialisation. ITFSI provides required fundamental thin film deposition systems and process capabilities, thin film characterisation and analysis required by the project.

The aim of this project is to build on the RDG patented process, completing a research & development deposition system, with ITFSI progressing deposition, optimisation and characterisation of the resulting graphene.