TCD, UCD in study of super carbon
Two Irish universities are involved in a €1 billion initiative to study a unique form of carbon called graphene. The material has such unusual properties that it could be used to produce artificial retinas, “roll-up” computer screens and even paper-thin mobile phones.
Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin were announced yesterday as being participants in the Future and Emerging Technologies Graphene Flagship Project, funded by the EU. The two universities will receive more than €1 million over the next three years.
Strongest material known
Graphene is one of the strangest forms of pure carbon yet discovered. It forms in layers just one atom thick and is the strongest material known.
The project will involve 126 academic and industry groups from 17 countries. TCD’s Jonathan Coleman will be deputy leader of one of 15 work packages set up by the EU Commission. Prof Coleman is the professor of chemical physics in Trinity’s school of physics and is based in Crann, the university’s nanoscience institute.
UCD’s Prof Kenneth Dawson is chair of physical chemistry in the school of chemistry and chemical biology and director of the Centre for BioNano Interactions. His group looks at biological effects caused by exposure to nanoparticles.
The fact that Irish universities were at the centre of the largest research project yet launched by the EU was evidence of the “tremendous esteem” in which our researchers were held internationally, said Minister of State for Research Seán Sherlock.