Flexible displays are something that we have explored in the past, and companies too, are making the necessary arrangements in order to deliver a new generation of consumer electronics that are far more than the polished aluminum unibody chassis that we see and love today. Flexible electronics could be the future, and Samsung intends to ride one of the first few waves after experiencing a graphene breakthrough in their research, having grown flaw-free graphene on a large scale successfully which could translate to mass manufacturing for consumer electronics in the future.
The team that achieved this hailed from Sungkyunkwan University’s School of Advanced Materials Science and Engineering and the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, where they made large sheets of graphene simply by growing it on a layer of specially treated germanium. While the graphene and germanium are only weakly attached, the team managed to remove the graphene as a standalone sheet, reusing the germanium along the way.
Why graphene? Made up of a single layer of carbon atoms, it is not only strong but flexible as well, and is ideal to conduct not only electricity but heat to boot. Imagine using graphene into the next generation of wearable and flexible electronics, where we could see a revolution in computers as well as displays, as the latter that rely on indium tin oxide most of the time will be even thinner than ever before, considering how graphene is just an atom thick, transparent and extremely tough. There is much work to be done to mass manufacture it to keep the cost down though.