Researchers from the University of Exeter have designed a new method to produce graphene significantly cheaper and easier than previously production methods. The researchers claim that this high-quality, low cost graphene could pave the way for the development of the first truly flexible 'electronic skin', that could be used in robots.
The new method grows graphene in an industrial cold wall CVD system, a state-of-the-art piece of equipment recently developed by UK graphene company Moorfield. This nanoCVD system is based on a concept already used for other manufacturing purposes in the semiconductor industry. This new technique is said to grow graphene 100 times faster than conventional methods, reduce costs by 99% and have enhanced electronic quality. The research team used this new technique to create the first transparent and flexible touch-sensor that could enable the development of artificial skin for use in robot manufacturing as well as flexible electronics.