Korean researchers developed a transparent (84.5% transmittance) actuator that can be used to make movable elements for touch-screens and vari-focal lenses. The actuator is made from a dielectric elastomer layer sandwiched between two transparent and stretchable graphene electrodes (and a frame that links the materials to the substrate).
The researchers demonstrated how this actuator can be used in a tactile display. They also showed that the device can work even when stretched to 25% of its length.
Bluestone Global Tech (BGT) was founded in 2011 in New York with an aim to produce graphene. The company offers high-quality, fully customizable graphene on several substrates (Quartz, Copper, Silicon and others). BGT's CEO, Dr. Chung Ping Lai, was kind enough to answer a few questions we had about the company's business and technology.
Dr. Lai became BGT's CEO in November 2012. Previously he worked with Taiwan's ITRI institute, Veeco, Applied films and other companies. Dr. Lai received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Ceramics Science and Engineering of Rutgers University in 1992.
Bluestone Global Tech released two short videos introducing Graphene. The first focuses on the different graphene properties (strength, flexibility, conductivity, etc):
The second video is all about the different graphene applications, such as displays, LEDs, touch screens, batteries, solar cells and conductive wires
Researchers from Georgia Tech have developed a new low-temperature method to dope graphene films using self-assembled monolayers (SAM) that modify the interface of graphene and its support substrate. Using this method the researchers developed graphene p-n junctions.
The researchers used CVD to grow graphene on copper film and then transferred it to silicon dioxide substrates that were functionalized with the self-assembled monolayers. Thus they have shown that you can make fairly well doped p-type and n-type graphene controllably by patterning the underlying monolayer instead of modifying the graphene directly. All previous methods (such as substitution of carbon atoms for nitrogen atoms, compounds addition or graphene ribbons edge modification) or had disrupted the graphene lattice which reduced the electron mobility and the devices were not stable.
Nobel Prize-winner (together with Andre Geim) Professor and Kostya Novoselov Professor Volodya Falko from Lancaster University have released a graphene roadmap. The roadmap discusses the different possible applications for graphene and also the different ways to produce the material.
The authors says that the first key application is conductors for touch-screen displays (replacing ITO), where they expect can be commercialized within 3-5 years. They also see rollable e-paper displays soon - prototypes could appear in 2015. Come 2020, we can expect graphene-based devices such as photo-detectors, wireless communications and THz generators. Replacing silicon and delivering anti-cancer drugs are interesting applications too - but these will only be possible at around 2030.
Researchers from the UK's University of Exeter discovered a new graphene based material that can be used as an ITO replacement - it's a lightweight, flexible and transparent conductor. In fact it's more flexible than ITO. They call it GraphExeter.
To create the new material, the researchers compressed ferric chloride molecules between two sheets of graphene. They are also working on a spray-on version of the material.
New hybrid graphene-metal electrode promise unbreakable touch displays, flexible OLEDs and solar cells
Researchers from Rice University created thin hybrid metal-graphene electrodes - that outperform ITO electrodes, are also more transparent and less resistance to electric current. These electrodes can be used to create non-glass touch displays, transparent and flexible OLEDs, solar cells and lighting products.
The new electrode is a thin film of single-layer graphene and a fine grid of metal nanowire. It's basically a hybrid-graphene electrode. The metal is used to enhance the conductivity at the required transparency. The metal grid strengthens the graphene, and the graphene fills all the empty spaces between the grid. The researchers found a grid of five-micron nanowires made of inexpensive, lightweight aluminum did not detract from the material's transparency.