It remains unclear whether this represents a delay in progressing to device fabrication. Back in October 2018 Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, chair and co-founder of Paragraf, was quoted saying: “I greatly look forward to the production of its first graphene electronic device later this year,” (see Graphene startup opens Cambridge R&D facility). Paragraf has not said whether that expectation was met.
Now the university has reported that Paragraf has started producing 200mm-diameter graphene wafers but did not say what substrate they are being produced on. Silicon is the most obvious candidate.
The significance of producing 20-cm wafers topped with graphene is that wafers of that diameter are in wide scale use for digital and analog circuit production in IDM and foundry wafer fabs, allowing for easier transfer from R&D to commercial production.
Paragraf received £2.9 million in funding to support the development of its first commercial products in a funding round led by Cambridge Enterprise, the university’s commercialization arm (see Cambridge spin-off gets backing to make ‘better’ graphene).
The premise behind the company is that its ability to lay down graphene without the use of a copper catalyst could place the company at the focus of a wave of graphene-enabled electronics. Paragraf’s contention is that ICs made using graphene-based transistors could be ten times faster than silicon ICs; and graphene-based chemical and electrical sensors could have sensitivity increased by a factor of more than 30.
Next: Who’s who
The company was formed by Professor Sir Colin Humphreys from the Centre for Gallium Nitride in Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, along with his former postdoctoral researchers Simon Thomas and Ivor Guiney, who developed a method for the large-area deposition of graphene in 2015. The three researchers formed Paragraf early in 2018. Thomas serves the company as CEO, Guiney serves as CTO, while Humphreys serves as chair.
Paragraf has installed customized large-area graphene production, processing and characterisation equipment and has in the past fabricated “transfer-free’ graphene on small silicon and sapphire wafers. The company has said it has strategic partnerships in place in preparation for rapid market entry.
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