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  • Video: University, Spinoff Develop Flexible Graphene Display

Photonics.com
Sep 2014
CAMBRIDGE, England, Sept. 11, 2014 — A prototype flexible display that uses graphene could lead to wider implementation of the material in flexible electronics.

A team from the University of Cambridge, in conjunction with spinoff Plastic Logic, successfully demonstrated the transistor-based flexible display. The prototype utilizes graphene technology developed at the Cambridge Graphene Center, as well as Plastic Logic transistor and display processing technology developed for flexible electronics. The partnership is expected to accelerate the commercial development of graphene.

“The potential of graphene is well known, but industrial process engineering is now required to transition graphene from laboratories to industry,” said Plastic Logic CEO Indro Mukerjee.


The prototype is an active-matrix electrophoretic display, the backplane of which includes a solution-processed graphene electrode that was patterned with micron-scale features.

Using Plastic Logic’s organic thin-film transistor technology, a 150-ppi backplane was created at extremely low temperatures. The ultrathin graphene layer replaces the metal electrode layer found in the company’s existing devices.

The prototype’s backplane was combined with an electrophoretic imaging film to create an ultralow-power, durable display. Because graphene is more flexible than conventional ceramic alternatives and more transparent than metal films, the developers said it could enable foldable electronics and other novel products.

“This is a significant step forward to enable fully wearable and flexible devices,” said professor Dr. Andrea Ferrari, director of the Cambridge Graphene Center.

Future iterations of the device could incorporate LCD and OLED technology that could achieve full color and video functionality. Its lightweight, flexible active-matrix backplane could also be used for sensor applications, such as medical imaging and gesture recognition.

The work was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the EU’s Graphene Flagship and the U.K. Technology Strategy Board.

For more information, visit www.graphene.cam.ac.uk.


GLOSSARY
electrophoresis
The movement of particles or ions in a solution toward the electrode having the opposite sign because of the application of an electrical field.
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