National Graphene Institute

Last updated
National Graphene Institute
The National Graphene Institute.JPG
General information
Location Manchester, United Kingdom
Coordinates 53°28′7.5″N2°14′0.4″W / 53.468750°N 2.233444°W / 53.468750; -2.233444 Coordinates: 53°28′7.5″N2°14′0.4″W / 53.468750°N 2.233444°W / 53.468750; -2.233444
Construction started2013 [1]
Owner University of Manchester
Technical details
Floor count5 [1]
Floor area7,600 m2 (82,000 sq ft) [1]
Design and construction
Architect Jestico + Whiles [2]
Main contractor Bam Construct [2]

The National Graphene Institute is a research institute and building at the University of Manchester that is focused on the research of graphene. Construction of the building to house the institute started in 2013 [1] and finished in 2015.

A research institute or research center is an establishment founded for doing research. Research institutes may specialize in basic research or may be oriented to applied research. Although the term often implies natural science research, there are also many research institutes in the social science as well, especially for sociological and historical research purposes.

University of Manchester public research university in Manchester, England

The University of Manchester is a public research university in Manchester, England, formed in 2004 by the merger of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the Victoria University of Manchester. The University of Manchester is a red brick university, a product of the civic university movement of the late 19th century.

Graphene Bi-dimensional crystalline structure of carbon

Graphene (/ˈɡræfiːn/) is an allotrope of carbon in the form of a single layer of atoms in a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice in which one atom forms each vertex. It is the basic structural element of other allotropes, including graphite, charcoal, carbon nanotubes and fullerenes. It can also be considered as an indefinitely large aromatic molecule, the ultimate case of the family of flat polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.



The building in 2016 National Graphene Institute 2016.jpg
The building in 2016

The creation of the institute, including the construction of the building, cost £61 million. Funded by the UK Government (£38m) and the European Union's European Regional Development Fund (£23m), the building is the national centre for graphene research in the UK. It provides facilities for industry and university academics to collaborate on graphene applications and the commercialisation of graphene. The building was opened on 20 March 2015 by George Osborne. [3]

Government of the United Kingdom Central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Government of the United Kingdom, formally referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is also commonly referred to as simply the UK Government or the British Government.

European Union Economic and political union of European states

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

European Regional Development Fund Fund allocated by the European Union to transfer money from richer regions (not countries), and invest it in the infrastructure and services of underdeveloped regions

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is a fund allocated by the European Union. Its purpose is to transfer money from richer regions, and invest it in the infrastructure and services of underdeveloped regions. This will allow those regions to start attracting private sector investments, and create jobs on their own.


The National Graphene Institute under construction in August 2014 National Graphene Institute.jpg
The National Graphene Institute under construction in August 2014

The five-story glass-fronted building provides 7,600 square metres (82,000 sq ft) of research space. This includes 1,500 square metres (16,000 sq ft) of class 100 and class 1000 clean rooms, one of which occupies the entire lower ground floor (in order to minimise vibrations [4] ) [1] plus laser, optical, metrology and chemical laboratories, along with offices, a seminar room and accommodation. [5] The top floor also includes a roof terrace, which has 21 different grasses and wildflowers designed to attract urban bees and other species of pollinators. [6] The outside of the building consists of a composite cladding, with an external stainless steel 'veil'. [4] The building faces on to Booth Street East. Construction started in March 2013, with the building being completed in 2015. [1]

Cleanroom facility designed to maintain extremely low levels of particulates, such as dust, airborne organisms, or vaporized particles

A cleanroom or clean room is a laboratory facility ordinarily utilized as a part of specialized industrial production or scientific research, including the manufacture of pharmaceutical items and microprocessors. Cleanrooms are designed to maintain extremely low levels of particulates, such as dust, airborne organisms, or vaporized particles. Cleanrooms typically have a cleanliness level quantified by the number of particles per cubic meter at a predetermined molecule measure. The ambient outdoor air in a typical urban area contains 35,000,000 particles for each cubic meter in the size range 0.5 μm and bigger in measurement, equivalent to an ISO 9 cleanroom, while by comparison an ISO 1 cleanroom permits no particles in that size range and just 12 particles for each cubic meter of 0.3 μm and smaller.

The building was designed by Jestico + Whiles in close collaboration with a team of academics lead by Prof Sir Konstantin Novoselov. It cost around £30m, and was constructed by Bam Construct. The structural design was produced by Ramboll. Other shortlisted organisations are: Lend Lease, Laing O’Rourke, Morgan Sindall, Vinci, and M&W Group). [2] The design work was led by EC Harris, along with CH2M Hill who provided specialist technical architecture design services for the cleanrooms and laboratories, together with Mechanical, Electrical and Process (MEP) consultant services. [4]

Jestico + Whiles is an architectural firm and interior design practice based in London, UK. It has completed a number of high-profile cultural, diplomatic, hotel and retail projects in Europe.

Konstantin Novoselov Russian-British physicist known for graphene work

Sir Konstantin Sergeevich Novoselov is a Russian-British physicist, and a Professor at the Centre for Advanced 2D Materials, National University of Singapore. He is also the Langworthy Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester. His work on graphene with Andre Geim earned them the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.

Ramboll Group A/S is a consulting engineering group.

History of the location

Excavations at the site of the Institute. Excavations at the site of the National Graphene Institute 19.jpg
Excavations at the site of the Institute.

The Institute was constructed on the former site of the Albert Club, which was a Victorian club that was located between Lawson Street and Clifford Street. [7] [8] The club was established for the middle class German community that were involved in Manchester's cotton trade, and Friedrich Engels frequented it during his time in the city, becoming a member in 1842. [7] [8] The club was located on Clifford Street from 1842 prior to its relocation in 1859. [9] The building was constructed by the architect Jeptha Pacey as his personal house, and it was fronted by formal gardens. It was later converted into a private social club, which was named after Albert, Prince Consort. More recently it had been re-purposed as Turkish public baths, [7] and was later used as a hospital for women and children. [10] The building was demolished in the 1960s,[ citation needed ] and the site was used for the construction of the Lamb Building. [11]

Victorian era Period of British history encompassing Queen Victorias reign

In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodists, and the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War; a Pax Britannica of international free trade was maintained by the country's naval and industrial supremacy. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked.

Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.

Friedrich Engels German communist political theorist

Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, communist, social scientist, journalist and businessman. His father was an owner of large textile factories in Salford, England and in Barmen, Prussia.

The excavations that took place in February 2013 by Oxford Archaeology North, prior to the construction of the Institute, uncovered the remnants of the club building along with a row of five cellars belonging to 1830s terraced housing. A sink removed from the site has been incorporated into the institute's new building. [7] As the main clean room of the new building will be located 3 metres below ground level, [11] the remains of the Albert Club were not conserved.

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University of Salford public research university in Salford, Greater Manchester

The University of Salford, Manchester is a public research university in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, 1 mile west of Manchester city centre. The Royal Technical Institute, Salford, which opened in 1896, became a College of Advanced Technology in 1956 and gained university status, following the Robbins Report into higher education, in 1967.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "First look at world-leading graphene Institute". University of Manchester. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 "Contractor picked for £61m Graphene Institute". 30 May 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  3. "Chancellor officially opens National Graphene Institute". University of Manchester. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 "National Graphene Institute" (PDF). Jestico + whiles. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  5. "National Graphene Institute". Jestico + whiles. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  6. "National Graphene Institute (NGI) | The University of Manchester". Retrieved 2015-11-30.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "How the Industrial Revolution is part of Manchester's new revolution". University of Manchester. 2013-02-27.
  8. 1 2 "Graphene revolution reveals lost 'local' of the father of communism Fredrich Engels". Manchester Evening News. 2013-03-01.
  9. Henderson, W.O. (1976). The Life of Friedrich Engels. 1. Cass. p. 229. ISBN   9780714613208 . Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  10. "Archaeological Excavation on Booth Street East – Open Day 1 March". Museum Meets. 2013-02-28.
  11. 1 2 "Item 9 Site of former Lamb Building". Manchester City Council. 2013-01-17.[ permanent dead link ]