17 March 2014 Graphene Tours at ICFO

High School student in the Graphene Lab

Researchers share their enthusiasm for this “wonder material” with secondary school students. Secondary school students interested in focusing their first research project (Treball de Recerca) on topics related to photonics are encouraged to seek guidance from ICFO’s researchers within the framework of the Outreach Initiatives for Secondary Schools. ICFO began offering guidance to students working on “The First Research Project”, normally carried out by students between their first and second year of the Baccalaureate program, in 2004 and thanks to the enthusiastic collaboration of ICFO’s research community, has since collaborated on subjects as varied as quantum computers, optical fibers, the laser and its medical applications, and with increasing frequency, graphene.

Due to the combination of superior properties, graphene holds promise to be the next disruptive technology with the potential to truly revolutionize many existing technologies. Unsurprisingly, graphene is capturing the attention and imagination of many students. In order to meet the growing requests for counseling and insights on graphene research at ICFO, researchers have created a more formalized ICFO visit- \"graphene tours\"- in which they offer explanations, and when possible, the opportunity to see and perform an experiment in the graphene lab.

PhD Student Mathieu Massicotte, one of the researchers active in this initiative, remarks that \"Most students attending the tour have read articles praising graphene’s wonderful properties, but they have little or no idea what this material even looks like in reality. With this tour, we try to demystify graphene and make students more familiar with our methods of investigation. By doing so, we hope to motivate students and convince them that high level science is within their reach… or the lead of their pencil!\"