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India Innovation Centre for Graphene


Background

The product development and manufacturing sector have not grown at the same pace as that of the IT and ITES industry. This has led to over-dependence on manufacturing hubs outside India for components and material fabrications for Indian-made products. Seldom are many research innovations in material science translated to products due to lack of manufacturing capabilities locally.

 

The recent pandemic exposed this limitation, with the supply chain heavily disrupted; many product development activities are either delayed or had to be redesigned, taking into account the local availability of components and raw materials.This dire need has initiated the emphasis on locally developed and manufactured products. The relevance of “Make in India” is amplified by the cumulative effect seen on the growing startups where these manufacturing gaps are now seen as new possibilities for product innovations.

 

Graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials are upcoming materials in electronics and optoelectronics. Graphene exhibit extraordinary electrical and electronic properties and has a huge potential as sensors, micro-electronics, semi-conductor devices, field emission displays, nano electrodes for inexpensive organic electronic devices, such as organic photovoltaic (OPVs), liquid-crystal devices (LCDs), organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), or organic field effect transistors (OFETs),besides the energy conversion devices (e.g., supercapacitors, fuel cells and batteries).It is the thinnest and strongest material in the world ever known. Graphene has good chemical stability, high electrical conductivity and large surface area while being transparent and light weight.

 

The India Innovation Centre for Graphene (IICG) is an initiative funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Govt. of India, State Govt. of Kerala and Tata Steel Limited, in association with various industries. IICG is implemented jointly by the Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), Digital University Kerala (DUK) and Tata Steel Limited. IICG is envisioned to investigate the science and technology of graphene and other 2D materials.  The centre envisages partnering effectively the industrial-academic activitiesin order to promote innovative and adventurous research with an emphasis on applications.

 

IICGwould attract internationally leading research on graphene into India and bridge the gap between scientific development and industrial applications of graphene in our country. The centre also aims to create facilities and sophisticated equipments to promote research in alignment with industry requirements.

 

 

India is bestowed with abundant natural graphite resources, and the establishment of IICG will give the much-needed revival and boost to the graphite and allied industries. In collaboration with these industries, IICGwould focus on sustainable and green preparation technology for the cost-effectiveproduction of multi-sized graphene powder. This would lead to various practical applications to promote the upgradation of the graphite industry.

 

Main research verticals

·         Large-scale and large area single/few-layer graphene production in collaboration with graphene industries in India.

·         Nanoscale carbon and other 2D material and its composite technology.

·         Graphene optoelectronic products research and development (graphene intelligent window, graphene touch screen, etc.)

·         Graphene smart integrated devices on flexible/transparent substrates, with the necessary energy storage capability.

·         Graphene energy conversion devices (supercapacitors, fuel cells, and batteries).

·         Advanced lithographic techniques for device fabrication.

·         The intelligent wearable technology research of graphene materials for sensors and wearable energy devices. An overview of the IICG is given in the figure below:

 

Overview of India Innovation Centre for Graphene Devices (IICG)

 

Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), is a national laboratory dedicated for research and development of electronic materials, components and devices. As a part of the IICG, C-MET continue to develop various products based on graphene. A few are summarised in the table below:





Energy Storage

 

Composites & Coatings

Sensors & Actuators

Optoelectronics

Graphene – CMOS Integrated Devices

Targeted Devices

Super-Capacitors

Batteries

MicroSuper-Capacitors

Flexible Storage Devices

 


Targeted Devices

NanoComposites

Inks/Paints

Adhesives

Thermic Fluids

 

 


Nanocomposites

Targeted Devces

Chemical Sensors

Gas Sensors

Optical Actuators

Electrical Actuators


Optical Actuation

Targeted Devices

Image Sensors

Waveguides

Optical Limiters

Solar Cells

 


Optical Limiting

Targeted Devices

PhotoDetectors

Multi-State Memory Devices

Sensor Platforms

 


Graphene

 

Summing Up

The India Innovation Centre for Graphene (IICG) would be established as a national facility, which would focus both on research and developmentas well as product development activities. It would be part of the larger start-ups and electronics ecosystem being built in Kerala, with the support of the central and state government along with industrial support. IICG would establish state-of-the-art facilities for development of devices based on graphene and other 2D materials and support industries to roll outwith commercially viable products. This would enable India to carve its own niche in the ever growing global market of 2D materials and devices.

 

(Author is Scientist, Ministry of Electronics and Technology, GOI)



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