Researchers from Iowa State University recently published the results of their breakthrough work with graphene, which treats the thin, flexible material with lasers to increase electrical conductivity without compromising a base material like paper or plastic film.
“This creates a way to
commercialize and scale-up the manufacturing of graphene,” Iowa State assistant professor of mechanical engineering Jonathon Claussen said. “The
breakthrough of this project is transforming the inkjet-printed graphene into a
conductive material capable of being used in new applications.”
printed multi-layer graphene circuits and electrodes with onto paper and
plastic film using inkjet printers. Traditionally, this would present a problem
as the graphene then needs to be treated with heat or chemicals to increase its
conductivity, which would degrade the paper or film.
“The laser works with
a rapid pulse of high-energy photons that do not destroy the graphene or the
substrate,” Iowa State postdoctoral research associate Suprem Das said. “They
heat locally. They bombard locally. They process locally.”
process, recently published in Nanoscale, could be used in
sensors with biological applications, in energy storage systems, in components
for electrical conducting and in paper-based electronics.
“This work paves the
way for not only paper-based electronics with graphene circuits, it enables the
creation of low-cost and disposable graphene-based electrochemical electrodes
for myriad applications including sensors, biosensors, fuel cells and (medical)
devices,” the researchers wrote in their paper.
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