Graphene has been in the hands of researchers for ten years now, a super material that has displayed many interesting properties and applications. The only trouble with the material is that it has proven very tricky to produce on a large scale, but new innovations from MIT have found a workaround for one of the trickiest aspects of its production.
“To make it useful, you have to get it off the metal and onto a substrate, such as a silicon wafer or a polymer sheet, or something larger like a sheet of glass, but the process of transferring it has become much more frustrating than the process of growing the graphene itself, and can damage and contaminate the graphene.” said MIT team lead A. John Hart in a recent release.
Their technique involves making a kind of metal sandwich, growing the graphene on both sides of a sheet of nickel instead of the old technique that only used one side. When the sheet is laid over glass and the top layer of graphene and nickel are peeled away, a perfect layer of graphene was left on the glass. This means the glass and graphene combo is now ready to be directly integrated into a TV or mobile devices’ screen.
The new process isn’t limited to glass and can also be used on solar cells, silicon wafers and more, but the team is now going to focus their efforts on improving the attributes needed to produce a high-performance graphene coating.
Graphene innovations are everywhere these days, but until these manufacturing hurdles are overcome, we’ll have to wait for any new innovative products which we can actually go and buy.
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