Graphene in composites: unexpected science from a pencil trace by Constantinos Soutis, Professor at the University of Manchester

Event information

Start date :06/10/2015

End date :06/10/2015

Time :16:00

Location : Amphi. 2 - MRV, 118 route de Narbonne, 31400, Toulouse


Graphene was first isolated in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at Manchester University. They used sticky tape to pull single layers from the surface of graphite and deposit them on a silicon wafer in a process called micromechanical cleavage or ‘the Scotch tape’ technique. The SiO2 electrically isolated the graphene and weakly interacted with it, providing nearly charge-neutral graphene layers. The isolation of graphene was a breakthrough for which Geim and Novoselov ultimately won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics. Graphene is a single-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms bonded in a hexagonal structure, either freely suspended or adhered to a substrate. In its purest form, graphene possesses an unsurpassed combination of electrical, mechanical and thermal properties, which gives it the potential to replace existing materials in a wide range of applications and, in the long term, to enable new applications. In 2014 a $100m National Graphene Institute was established at the University of Manchester followed by a $100m Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre to support applied research and development in partnership with industry. The global market for graphene is reported to have reached $9 million by 2014.

In this talk, achievements but also challenges will be reported in the production of graphene, modelling and characterisation, with some thoughts on future needs, developments and prospects for engineering applications. Applications of graphene that have been proposed or are under development will be discussed, in areas including electronics, biological engineering, filtration, photovoltaics, energy storage and lightweight composites used in modern aircraft construction. Graphene is often produced as dispersion in a polymer matrix that could enhance its electrical conductivity and could be used as a lightning strike protection coating?


Pr. Constantinos Soutis is holding a Chair in Aerospace Engineering, and he is the Director of the Aerospace Research Institute and Director of the Northwest Composites Centre at the University of Manchester, UK.  Prior to this, he has held positions at the University of Sheffield, Imperial College London, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Leicester and University of Cambridge. He is a leading authority in mechanics and failure of composites, with significant contributions on modelling damage mechanisms in open hole compression, impact and compression after impact, environmental effects on fibre microbuckling and structural health monitoring using low frequency Lamb waves techniques. His industrial research and engineering experience includes work with the Structural Materials Centre of the British Defence Evaluation & Research Agency (visiting research fellow, 1995-2001), QinetiQ (Trusted Expert, 2001-2003), Cambridge Consultants, Dowty Propellers, Cytec Materials Engineering and ABB Research in Switzerland. Professor Soutis is the author or co-author of over 400 archived articles, which include more than 200 ISI listed journal papers; some 25 PhD students have qualified under his supervision and guidance. He is the Deputy Editor of Applied Composite Materials Journal, an Associate Editor of the RAeS Aeronautical Journal and the International Journal of SHM. On 5th August 2014, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, distinguished for his major contributions to the science and technology of the mechanics and mechanisms of failure of fibre-composite materials based upon polymeric matrices.