First graphene display paves way for flexible electronics (Wired UK)

Cambridge Graphene Centre and Plastic LogicCambridge University

Flexible and fully functioning graphene displays are here, as is
evidenced by a prototype created jointly by the Cambridge Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic. It is the
first time that the wonder material graphene has been incorporated
in a transistor-based device.

Graphene is
one of the strongest, lightest and most flexible materials known to
man, and while it is extremely expensive to develop and work with
at the moment, in the future we will start to see it integrated
into more and more of our electronics.

The prototype that has been created is similar to the screens
found on ebook readers, although it is made using flexible plastic
instead of glass. The pixel electronics that make up the backplane
include a graphene electrode.

The benefit of graphene displays is that due to their
flexibility they could be used to create completely foldable
electronics. As it can also be processed from a solution, it offers
inherent manufacturing benefits — more efficient printing, for
example.

For the prototype, researchers combined the graphene-imbued
backplane with electrophoretic imaging film so as to create an
ultra-low power and very durable display. In the future this could
be swapped for liquid crystal or organic light-emitting diodes to
create the LCD and OLED screens we’re familiar with from our mobile
devices and televisions.

Cambridge Graphene Centre isn’t the only place in the UK where
the potential of graphene is being experimented with. The National
Graphene Institute is currently being built at Manchester
University, and beyond our shores Samsung is conducting its own studies on the material in the
hope of using it in wearables and other next-generation
devices.

The potential use cases for graphene are endless. It has already
been used to develop the world’s smallest FM radio transmitter and Manchester University
researchers have received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation to try and develop graphene condoms.

“The potential of graphene is well known, but industrial process
engineering is now required to transition graphene from
laboratories to industry,” said Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Plastic
Logic. The company, along with the Cambridge Graphene Centre, has
received a grant from the UK Technology Strategy Board, so that the
partners can try and meet their target of creating a full-colour,
OLED display using graphene within the next year.

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9 September 2014 | 3:16 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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