Graphene – the future of flexible electronics


Hello i’m Tym. In this video I will show you how a transparent and flexible plastic can conduct electricity. All we need to do is to cover it with graphene a new wonder material which is highly conductive, transparent and flexible. It is similar to the stuff on your pencil – graphite but there is one fundamental difference. Graphene is only single-atom thick. It is the first known two-dimensional crystal, the thinnest object ever obtained and the lightest one. So how can you produce such a thin slice of carbon atoms? Well, here at ITME, at EPI-lab in Poland we have worked out how to do it. We grow it on a copper foil just like this one. The process is performed in a reactor in 1000 degrees Celsius. First, we heat up the foil in hydrogen and argon to clean up the surface and improve its sctructure. Then we add propane. In high temperature the propane changes into hydrogen and carbon atoms. These atoms sit down on the surface of the foil forming a honeycomb structure of graphene. The process takes only a few minutes. Now, the crucial thing is to get rid of the copper in order to obtain pure graphene. This is done by a sequence of etching, dissolving and drying processes not very different from what you learnt at school at chemistry classes. In order to do it we cover it with a liquid polymer, dry it and try to get rid of the copper by etching it. The final stage takes more than just a breeze. We are simply transferring graphene onto the plastic. And here it goes. A flexible, transparent film that can conduct electricity. Now we’ll show you how it works. Here I have a simple circuit. If I move the switch the light turns on. That’s because the first circuit is closed and electricity travels through conductors. What will happen if I close the
second circuit consisting of a piece of plastic with these two golden
electrodes? The blue diodes start to flash. That’s because now the current flows also through the plastic covered with invisible graphene. We open the graphene circuit and the light dies out. Now again the diodes flash. Just look how flexible it is. Graphene is a really miraculous material, you can stretch it, because stretches you can put it over any kind of substrate and it will follow the surface geometry. And this is the future a flexible electronics. Thank you for watching us!

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