Electrochromic displays are made from materials in which the transmittance of light to be adjusted by applying a voltage. These work similarly to LCDs by letting light from a backlighting unit (BLU) pass or not and so show desired images. These kind of displays haven't been commercialized successfully yet due to fragile materials and material mismatches with the electrodes.
But this may change now, thanks to graphene. Researchers at Bilkent University developed a graphene electrochromic device that demonstrated 55% modulation and a broad spectral response. Both the electrode and the electrochromic device are made from graphene, and this enables a high percentage optical modulation, optical tuning properties in the UV to infrared, good electrical conductivity with no material mismatches. The display is mechanically flexible.
In June 2013, Cambridge University's Graphene Centre (CGC) and Plastic Logic started to develop a transparent graphene-based backplane for flexible displays. Now Plastic Logic demonstrated the first display that was developed in that collaboration research. Plastic Logic says that this is the first time grpahene has been used in a transistor-based flexible device.
The prototype (shown above) is an active-matrix electrophoretic (E Ink) display fabricated on flexible plastic. The electrodes are made from solution-processed graphene which was patterned after deposition with micron-scale features. The prototype has a pixel density of 150 PPI and was made at low temperatures (less than 100 degrees celsius). This is just a prototype of course and you can see many defects in display.
Researchers from the Korean's KAIST institute developed a new process to produce graphene quantum dots that are equal in size and highly efficient in emitting light. Quantum Dots potentially can be used to develop emissive flexible displays (similar to OLED displays), and this development may enable those displays to be graphene-based.
The process involves mixing salt, water and graphite and then synthesizing a chemical compound between layers of graphite. All the resulting quantum dots were 5 nanometer in diameter, and these QDs do not contain and heavy metals (like current commercial quantum dots). The process is reportedly easy to scale and should not be expensive.
The National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) awarded an 18-month Young International Researcher Fellowship to a University of Cambridge researcher that will look to se graphene materials composites for organic optoelectronic compounds. The researcher hope to use inkjet printers to produce those devices and then integrate them into displays, light detectors and gas sensors.
In plain English, it means that they hope these kind of devices will enable flexible, cheap and fast cameras. Compared to current printed organic circuits, the graphene-based will be less sensitive to temperature and moisture and will also offer much faster response time that is suited for photodetection.
Researchers discovered that lithium-doped graphene sheets (3-60 layers in thickness) result in the highest ever sheet resistance and transmittance ever reported for continuous thin-films. This may prove to be an important step towards an ITO replacement for touch panels and solar cells.
The lithium was inserted between the graphene layers. As a result of this electrochemical intercalation, the Fermi level is upshifted by the doping effect, resulting in a more transparent and conductive material.
The Ningbo government in China decided to help build the local graphene industry as part of its strategic industry plans. The government will launch several graphene projects as part of its "medium and long-term plan for the technological innovation and industrial development of the graphene industry (2014 – 2023) in Ningbo" plan.
Ningo government will help support three stages of the graphene market - raw materials, graphene composite materials and equipment and final products.
Update: It turns out that Konstantin Novoselov did not join the new research institute, he just visited to give a lecture...
In 2013, Shanghai-based Powerbooster Technology developed a graphene-based flexible touch-panels for mobile devices, with ambitious plans to mass produce those panels. The graphene supplier for powerbooster is Bluestone Global Tech (BGT).
Now it is reported that BGT, Power Booster and Xiamen University established the Graphene Industrial Technology Research Institute in Xiamen. The will mainly develop the applications of graphene in batteries, touch screens, cancer treatment, LED lamps, sea water desalination and more.