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OLED Electrodes Made From Graphene


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There have been a number of miracle materials throughout history and one of the latest examples is graphene, an atom-thick sheet of carbon. It earned this title because it is exceptionally strong and hard while still being flexible, transparent, and highly conductive. These are desirable properties for a number of applications and for the first time, researchers at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the GLADIATOR project have successfully made functional OLED electrodes from the material.

Ever since its discovery, one of the challenges with graphene has been discovering ways to make it into a product because it is often difficult to manufacturer. The solution in this case is to heat a wafer of high-purity copper in a vacuum chamber and then add a mixture of methane and hydrogen. A chemical reaction starts between these gases and the copper, causing the methane to dissolve into the copper, leaving a sheet of carbon on the surface. After it is cooled and a carrier polymer is applied, the copper plate is etched away, leaving the graphene behind.

The researchers believe the first products that might uses these graphene electrodes will be able to launch in two to three years, and as both OLEDs and graphene are flexible, these products would be more resilient than those you find today. These graphene electrodes will likely be combined with more than OLEDs too as other technologies, such as photovoltaics, smart windows, and wearable devices could all benefit from them.

Source: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

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