Thursday 11 September 2014

First Graphene-Based Flexible Display

Another breakthrough for the flexible electronic research have been reported, when the Cambridge Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic successfully demonstrated how Graphene or Graphene-like material can be used to produce flexible electronics such as a display, having Graphene in its pixels with a transistor.

This project was sponsored both by internal and external funding bodies, which were engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the EU’s Graphene Flagship.Technology has been advanced to such an extent that today people wear the devices which automates the daily life or helps in every work. Fully wearable and flexible device can bring a new horizon to the tech market. In this context, Graphene research is very significant as according to earlier reports, Graphene can be successfully introduced to produce flexible displays.

It is reported that Plastic Logic has already developed flexible devices, but the incorporation of Cambridge Graphene Centre offered this collaboration something very essential, the expertise on Graphene research. This initiative is a pathfinder for the institutions to understand how academic and industrial collaborative research can bring the science from the laboratory to the factory level.

What is Graphene?

Graphene is a two-planer material made up of carbon atom sheets. Graphene is known to be most lightweight, strongest and flexible material so far. Earlier studies have shown that Graphene can change the paradigm of industries ranging from healthcare to electronics. Some major advantages of this material are-

  • It is more flexible than ceramic alternatives, such as indium-tin oxide(ITO),
  • It is more transparent than majorly all metal films. 
These properties can enable researchers to go for formulating flexible display engaging graphene.

Detailed report of this research:

Unlike of conventional display sets, this prototype consists of solution processed graphene electrodes in its backplane or pixel electronics. It is basically an active matrix electrophoretic display made up of flexible plastic instead of glass. In this prototype they have replaced the former popped electrode layer within Plastic Logic’s conventional device with graphene based electrode.

This flexible display featured 150 pixels per inch and was made at low temperatures (less than 100 degree Celsius) using Plastic Logic’s infamous Organic Thin Film Transistor technology. The graphene electrode was fitted from the solution directly and continuously mottled to have micron-scale features in order to complete the backplane. To demonstrate the possibility of ultra-low power durable display, an electrophoretic imaging film wan added with the backplane. According to the scientists engaged in this collaboration, future research may engage the advancements in LCD and OLED technology to achieve full colour and video functionality. How healthcare and electronic industry is engaging Graphene to their products can be understood by already developed materials like advanced digital medical imaging and gesture recognitions devices. Next generations sensor can also engage lightweight flexible active matrix backplane to enhance its functionality.

Success story:

This academic-industrial collaboration between Plastic Logic and Cambridge Graphene Centre have been shown to be successful and it earned a recent grant from the UK technology strategy board to realise the possibility of engaging graphene to build flexible electronic imaging devices.

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