New ARC hub to boost 2D materials manufacturing research

Monash University

Launched yesterday, a new research hub hosted by Monash University at the Faculty of Engineering will foster research and commercialisation of 2D materials like graphene with a vast range of applications including in water treatment, batteries, coatings, paints and sensors.

The new Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for Advanced Manufacturing of 2D Materials (AM2D) was formally opened by Member of Parliament Dr Carina Garland, Member for Chisolm, at an event that showcased the research activities of the Hub, and brought together researchers and industry.

Endowed with high conductivity, strength, incredible thermal and optical properties, 2D materials – including graphene – can be used for diverse applications. AM2D’s research will address this growing demand by enhancing Australia’s graphene and 2D manufacturing capability and supporting the production of high-tech products, including energy storage devices, advanced anti-corrosion coatings, sensors, and water treatment membranes.

AM2D Director Professor Mainak Majumder has been in the business of graphene research and commercialisation for more than a decade and said that there is still a strong investment appetite for R&D into 2D materials and products.

“Graphene’s versatility has spawned many applications that are finding their way to the market. We are at the tip of this iceberg in this journey as innovative graphene-enhanced products are being designed, and existing products are moving up the technology readiness levels (TRL),” Professor Majumder said.

“Asides from Graphene, AM2D will open up new opportunities for 2D materials of tomorrow. In this large family of graphene-like materials around 100 have been studied, and over 6000 distinct materials are unexplored. It remains a research area ripe for new discoveries and products. AM2D will build effective partnerships in translating this research into market-ready products.”

AM2D has secured $9.4 million in funding over the next five years, including $4.4 million under the Australian Research Council’s Industrial Transformation Research Program.

As Organising Partner, Monash University will join forces with the University of Adelaide, RMIT, Queensland University of Technology, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, Ceylon Graphene Technologies, Ionic Industries, NematiQ, Sparc Technologies, Industrial Innovations, Cientifica and CSIRO to realise the transformative potential of 2D materials.

AM2D’s industry partners are no strangers to the commercialisation of graphene and 2D materials. Many of them are leaders in establishing the growing graphene supply and value chain in Australia, and are well-known internationally.

Their long-standing collaborations with universities, including with Monash University, has led to the creation of jobs in manufacturing and high-tech industries. AM2D aims to strengthen these existing successes and grow the capability of the sector more broadly.

Professor Majumder said the Hub will take a holistic approach to the development, manufacture and application of 2D materials including how they move across the supply chain.

“AM2D is also looking at ways to overcome bottlenecks in sustainably producing and modifying bulk quantities of 2D materials and using machine learning to cost-effectively characterise these materials.

“We’re investigating the ways in which we can add value to Australian mineral and mining resources, and cater to the global demand for critical materials required for the energy transition. It’s a very exciting, very diverse research agenda, but we have a fantastic and diverse team from all over Australia and internationally to help support this.”

The Hub will operate through three major ‘Nodes’ with projects ranging across the main themes of research on fundamental new tools for 2D materials, smart manufacturing and environmental impact of the 2D materials sector.

Monash University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Enterprise and Engagement) and Senior Vice President Professor Doron Ben-Meir said the launch of the AM2D Research Hub shows that transformative innovation is made possible when we invest in each other’s expertise and success.

“Through this rich, synergistic collaboration with our university and industry partners, we have the opportunity to realise the full potential of increasingly in-demand 2D materials and – in doing so – generate the most significant impact as we strive to change our world, for good.”


/Public Release.