Graphene Breakthrough Promises Bendy OLED Screens

Carbon-based graphene is set to be used in Organic LED screens to make them bendy - rather than brittle thanks to the work of a group of South Korean researchers headed by Byung Hee Hong.

The material was produced back in 2004 and is derived from carbon nanotubes which were at the centre of a controversy spurred by the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) at the beginning of November 2008.

Graphene's extraordinary physical and mechanical property is due to the fact that it is only one atom thick while maintaining electrical conductivity.

A paper published in Nature reports about the latest achievements in the field of graphene manufacturing which promises to allow extra strong, virtually transparent, conductive sheets to be mass produced in a not-to distant future.

They could prove to be ideal for transparent applications like OLEDs or solar panels which means that they could be used on windows or on any other surfaces. The breakthrough could also herald the rise of ultra thin computers that can be molded into virtually any shape.

The Korean team devised a technique that allowed graphene to be "sprayed" on thin pieces of nickel that were then dissolved using the appropriate chemicals. They were then attached to a polymer called PET.

The first commercial applications of this new breed of material is not expected to take place at least until well into the next decade.

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Back in April 2008, a team from the University of Manchester produced what is still the smallest and simplest transistor ever, a 1-atom thick, 10-atom wide model which will help push the manufacturing process for semiconductors as well as helping extend Moore's Law.

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