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Journal of Data and Information Science  2018, Vol. 3 Issue (1): 82-100    DOI: 10.2478/jdis-2018-0005
Research Paper     
Trends Analysis of Graphene Research and Development
Lixue Zou1,(),Li Wang1,2,Yingqi Wu3,Caroline Ma3,Sunny Yu 3,Xiwen Liu1,2
1National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.19(A) Yuquan Road, Shijingshan District, Beijing 100049, China
3Chemical Abstracts Service, 2540 Olentangy River Road Columbus, OH 43202, USA
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Purpose: This study aims to reveal the landscape and trends of graphene research in the world by using data from Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS).

Design/methodology/approach: Index data from CAS have been retrieved on 78,756 papers and 23,057 patents on graphene from 1985 to March 2016, and scientometric methods were used to analyze the growth and distribution of R&D output, topic distribution and evolution, and distribution and evolution of substance properties and roles.

Findings: In recent years R&D in graphene keeps in rapid growth, while China, South Korea and United States are the largest producers in research but China is relatively weak in patent applications in other countries. Research topics in graphene are continuously expanding from mechanical, material, and electrical properties to a diverse range of application areas such as batteries, capacitors, semiconductors, and sensors devices. The roles of emerging substances are increasing in Preparation and Biological Study. More techniques have been included to improve the preparation processes and applications of graphene in various fields.

Research limitations: Only data from CAS is used and some R&D activities solely reported through other channels may be missed. Also more detailed analysis need to be done to reveal the impact of research on development or vice verse, development dynamics among the players, and impact of emerging terms or substance roles on research and technology development.

Practical implications: This will provide a valuable reference for scientists and developers, R&D managers, R&D policy makers, industrial and business investers to understand the landscape and trends of graphene research. Its methodologies can be applied to other fields or with data from other similar sources.

Originality/value: The integrative use of indexing data on papers and patents of CAS and the systematic exploration of the distribution trends in output, topics, substance roles are distinctive and insightful.

Key wordsGraphene      R&D distribution;      Topic distribution and evolution      Substance roles distribution and evolution      Text mining     
Published: 19 March 2018
Corresponding Authors: Zou Lixue     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Lixue Zou, Li Wang, Yingqi Wu, Caroline Ma, Sunny Yu, Xiwen Liu. Trends Analysis of Graphene Research and Development. Journal of Data and Information Science, 2018, 3(1): 82-100.

URL:     OR

Figure 1. Papers and patents in graphene research by year.
Figure 2. Country/region distribution in graphene R&D.
Figure 3. Papers by the top five countries.
Figure 4. Patents by the top five countries.
Figure 5. Patent application flow in main countries.
Organization Country Papers Type Years R Percentage (Last3 Years) Top Terms Recent Terms
Chinese Academy of Sciences CN 2,973 Institute 1997-2016 45% Raman spectra; Nanocomposites; Surface structure Electrolytic polarization; Photothermal therapy; Mammary gland neoplasm
University of California US 1,296 University 1994-2016 26% Band structure; Electric conductivity; Raman spectra Optical instruments; Thin film transistors; Ferroelectricity
Nanyang Technological University SG 890 University 2001-2016 38% Raman spectra; Nanoparticles; Surface structure Transition metal ; Encapsulation; Photoluminescence
Tsinghua University CN 739 University 1998-2016 44% Raman spectra; Electric conductivity; Chemical vapor deposition Pore structure; Ion transport; Dielectric films
Russian Academy of Sciences RU 738 Institute 1999-2016 38% Electric conductivity; Density of states; Band structure Lennard-Jones potential; Surface acoustic wave; Magnetocaloric effect
National University of Singapore SG 712 University 2000-2016 30% Nanoribbons; Electric conductivity; Raman spectra; Flexibility; Permeability; Battery electrolytes
The University of Texas US 672 University 2004-2016 25% Band structure; Electric conductivity; Field effect transistors Band offset; Melting point; Raman spectroscopy
University of Science and Technology of China CN 616 University 2003-2016 41% Nanocomposites; Nanosheets; Electric conductivity Phase composition; Atomic layer deposition; Photocatalysts
Peking University CN 563 University 1996-2016 44% Raman spectra; Chemical vapor deposition;
Band structure
Superconductivity; Semimetals; Cathodes
Fudan University CN 516 University 1994-2016 43% Nanocomposites; Nanosheets; Nanoparticles Shubnikov-de Haas effect; Chronoamperometry; Crystal orientation
Zhejiang University CN 509 University 1997-2016 55% Nanosheets; Raman spectra; Nanocomposites Open circuit potential; Adsorptive wastewater treatment; Heterojunction solar cells
Nanjing University CN 468 University 2002-2016 46% Nanoparticles; Nanocomposites; Surface structure Crystal morphology; Drug delivery systems; Electrochemical analysis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology US 458 University 1989-2016 30% Raman spectra; Chemical vapor deposition; Electric conductivity Thermoelectricity; Laser heating; Optical conductivity
Sungkyunkwan University KR 446 University 2007-2016 50% Raman spectra; Chemical vapor deposition; Field effect transistors Double-layer capacitor electrodes; Aerogels; Aminoplasts
Jilin University CN 414 University 2008-2016 49% Nanocomposites; Nanoparticles; Surface structure Lithium-ion secondary batteries; Thermal analysis; Contact angle
Shanghai Jiao Tong University CN 397 University 2005-2016 52% Nanocomposites; Electric conductivity; Nanosheets Lithium-ion secondary batteries; Aerogels; Electrochemical reaction catalysts
Seoul National University KR 392 University 2004-2016 49% Raman spectra; Surface structure; Electric conductivity Capacitors; Intercalation; Conducting polymers
Tohoku University JP 370 University 1998-2016 26% Band structure; Electric conductivity; Fermi level Far-IR detectors; Grain size; Hot electrons
Hunan University CN 368 University 2001-2016 61% Nanoparticles; Nanocomposites; Cyclic voltammetry Lithium-ion secondary batteries; Mid-IR spectra; Chemical potential
Tianjin University CN 359 University 2003-2016 57% Nanoparticles; Raman spectra; Nanosheets Lithium-ion secondary batteries; Solar cells; Thickness
Table 1 Top 20 organizations in graphene research papers.
Organization Names Countries Patents Type Year Range Percentage
(Last 3 Years)
Top Terms Recent Terms
Chinese Academy of Sciences CN 1,299 Institute 2007-2015 37% Fluoropolymers Chemical vapor deposition Films Three-dimensional printing Heat stabilizers Crystals
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. KR 515 Enterprise 2007-2015 16% Electrodes Electroluminescent devices Semiconductor device fabrication Chalcogenides Binding energy Lithium primary batteries
Ocean’s King Lighting Science & Technology Co., Ltd. CN 439 Enterprise 2010-2013 0% Composites Secondary batteries Fluoropolymers -
Zhejiang University CN 270 University 2008-2015 49% Fluoropolymers Secondary batteries Nanocomposites Photoelectric cell electrodes Electric cables and wires Flexibility
LG Electronics, Inc. KR 258 Enterprise 2009-2015 33% Secondary batteries Electroluminescent devices Fluoropolymers Aromatic hydrocarbons Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Petroleum pitch
Harbin Institute of Technology CN 222 University 2010-2015 61% Composites Fluoropolymers Secondary batteries Lithium-ion secondary batteries Aerogels Direct methanol fuel cells
Tsinghua University CN 213 University 2009-2015 36% Secondary batteries Electrodes Fluoropolymers Cathodes Electron emission Fuel cell cathodes
Shanghai Jiao Tong University CN 187 University 2009-2015 41% Composites Secondary batteries Fluoropolymers Electrolytic capacitors Electrolytes Paper
International Business Machines Corporation US 186 Enterprise 2005-2015 11% Dielectric films Field effect transistors Semiconductor device fabrication Electrolytes Surface plasmon resonance Tunneling
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology KR 185 Institute 2008-2015 16% Nanowires Nanostructures Nanoparticles Distributed Bragg reflectors Energy storage systems Varistors
Southeast University CN 154 University 2010-2015 44% Composites Heat treatment Nanoparticles Impregnation Injection molding Orthopedic prosthetics
Jiangsu University CN 140 University 2010-2015 54% Nanocomposites Photolysis catalysts Nanoparticles Aerogels Double layer capacitors Electric capacitance
University of Jinan CN 137 University 2010-2015 63% Antibodies and Immunoglobulins Immunosensors Blood serum albumins Magnetic separation Amination Prostate-specific antigen
Beijing University of Chemical Technology CN 135 University 2009-2015 41% Styrene-butadiene rubber Natural rubber Nanoparticles Fireproofing agents ABS rubber Acrylic rubber
Fudan University CN 133 University 2010-2015 48% Electrodes Composites Lithium-ion secondary batteries Lithium-ion secondary batteries Double layer capacitors Electrospinning
University of Electronic Science and Technology of China CN 130 University 2010-2015 36% Coating process Films Polyesters Electric resistance Interference Optical modulators
Shanghai University CN 129 University 2009-2015 62% Composites Fluoropolymers Secondary batteries Lithium-ion secondary batteries Aerogels Dispersion of materials
Donghua University CN 120 University 2010-2015 48% Fluoropolymers Composites Polyoxyalkylenes Coupling agents Glass microspheres Pharmaceutical carriers
Korea Institute of Science and Technology KR 117 Institute 2008-2015 21% Polyimides Solar cells Nanoparticles Enterobacteria phage M 13 Hydrogels Peptides
Baker Hughes Inc. US 107 Enterprise 2008-2015 12% Nanoparticles Fullerenes Silsesquioxanes Crosslinking agents Ferrofluids Magnetic materials
Table 2 Top 20 applicants in graphene research papers.
Figure 6. Distribution of global research categories as assigned by CAS.
Figure 7. Main technology areas distribution by year.
Figure 8. Topics distribution of papers and patents in graphene research (before 2009).
Figure 9. Topics distribution of papers and patents in graphene research (2010-2016).
Figure 10. Evolution of emerging terms of global papers and patents.
Figure 11. Role distribution of substances reported in graphene research.
Figure 12. Role trends of substances reported in graphene research.
Figure 13. Role evolution of emerging substances in graphene research.
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