The University of Adelaide has launched a new hub dedicated to the 'material of the 21st Century' - graphene.
Since being made accessible and characterised by researchers at the University of Manchester - a feat for which Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010 - graphene has grabbed the imagination of scientists.
Derived from simple graphite it has unique properties: it is ultra-thin, just one-atom thick, yet it has incredible strength, 200 times that of steel. It is also a superb conductor, transparent and a water repellent, and has anti-bacterial qualities.
And because of these unique qualities graphene could become a disruptive technology with many potential applications.
The new Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation will focus on supporting commercialisation of graphene research across a range of areas including agriculture, mining, construction, medical technologies and defence.
The hub's researchers are already working on a new generation of fire retardant products, construction materials, advanced protective coatings for defence and industrial applications including slow-release fertilisers; and new electrical devices and super-batteries.
It is funded throught the ARC’s Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme with a $2.6 million grant, with industry partners contributing over $3 million.
Led by the University of Adelaide, the project's partners include Monash University, University of Melbourne and University of South Australia. The commercial partners are Archer Exploration Limited, Ziltek Pty Ltd, Qingdao Huagao Graphene Technology Corporation Limited, First Graphene Limited, and Cleanfuture Energy Australia Pty Ltd.