Creating graphene from graphite

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Durham Graphene Science (DGS) is a company that specialises in the synthesis of graphene. The company uses a unique ‘bottom-up’ approach to producing graphene. Due to its complicated and relatively unknown manufacturing method DGS were having difficulties in explaining and publicising their manufacturing procedure to potential customers. They originally sought to rebuild their website to further explain their process, relying on standard illustrations and text explanations. However, during repeated meetings I concluded that a more accurate means of explanation could be achieved through 3D animations, using creative digital design technologies to help untangle their complex science so that non-scientists and potential customers could understand and benefit from their product. What initially started out as a one-to-one chemistry lesson, evolved into creatively visualising their techniques, perceiving the manufacturing process from a molecular level, inventing visual representations to describe microscopic elements. The whole process, although superbly simple to DGS, to a layman was immensely complicated and it was the untangling of this complex procedure that required both imagination and inventiveness. Techniques that DGS took for granted needed expanding and completely invisible processes needed visualising in a manner that was straightforward and concise. The design challenge was to tell the story using very simple metaphors for example, what is graphite? What is graphene? How was it previously created? How is it created now? And how is it different from the standard ‘top down’ process? Such simple questions pushed the boundaries of my understanding of our 3D software, looking to film and computer game references to better understand the possible storylines.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2011


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