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2D Materials

Graphene and other novel two-dimensional (2D) materials have sustained strong interest from academia and industry owing to their unique combination of material properties. These properties, which include strength, thermal and electrical conductivity, are found to be superior to those exhibited by other advanced materials.

Moreover, for some applications, these 2D materials can potentially be cheaper than their incumbents (e.g. copper, silicon), as they are obtained from coal or other inexpensive carbon sources.  Due to their extraordinary properties, graphene and related 2D materials have the potential to generate truly disruptive technologies and products.

Since graphene was first isolated in 2004 at the University of Manchester, the UK has led major breakthroughs in 2D materials processing and applications. The market for these applications can potentially be large and see rapid growth. However, developments are still in their early stages with the successful ones mainly focused on incremental substitution rather than unique application routes.

Early successes with graphene processing have encouraged increased research activity into non-carbon 2D materials (e.g. molybdenum disulfide and hexagonal boron nitride), as these exhibit other outstanding properties, such as band gaps which make them attractive for semiconductor applications. One of the major attractive properties of these 2D materials and graphene is that they can be easily stacked together, creating different heterostructures (Van der Waals heterostructures) and thus allowing unique properties to be designed. Due to similarities in physical phenomena and processing methods, research into non-carbon 2D materials continue to benefit greatly from learnings and resources invested in graphene research and infrastructure.  For this reason, the commercialisation of non-carbon 2D materials is expected to be propelled by graphene successes

Our 2D Materials Expert

Stephen Morris

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Funding Opportunities

Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2021 to 2022, round 3

Up to £6 million is available to fund innovation projects, which are a partnership between an academic institution/RTO/Catapult and a business or not-for-profit, employing 1-2 graduate associates.

Opens: 05/07/2021 Closes: 29/09/2021

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Innovate UK Smart Grants: August 2021

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.

Opens: 26/08/2021 Closes: 06/10/2021

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New report released on UK composites industry competitiveness and opportunities

BEIS, Innovate UK, High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC) and Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) have produced a study of the UK market for fibre reinforced polymer composites (FRPs). This will be used by BEIS to inform future policymaking, and also by industrial companies and representative sector bodies to inform their wider communities.

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