updated 08:10 am EDT, Fri October 28, 2011
Researchers use graphene for flex transistors
Korean researchers have developed flexible transistors using graphene to accomplish the feat. The researchers had experimented with a range of conventional materials including molecules, polymers and metals but found them to be ineffective for this purpose. Graphene has an advantage in that it can be integrated using the traditional printing processes at room temperatures without vacuum or high-temperature steps.
The researchers found that graphene made the fabrication process much easier. The method works by first layering sheets of graphene on copper foil and bonding it all to a rubber substrate. Channels are etched onto its surface, then electrodes and gate insulators made of ion gel are printed onto the device.
The technique produces transistors that can be stretched by 5 percent for 1,000 times while still maintaining their electrical properties. Stretching beyond 5 percent caused degradation due to micocracks and other defects emerging.
The aim is to use the technology to create devices in the future that could be used in wearable electronics and sensory skins. [via Physorg]