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Opening Doors to Foldable Electronics With Inkjet-Printed Graphene

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A concept design for glasses with an integrated camera and zoom lens.

A new graphene-based ink may be use to create extremely detailed, conductive electrodes through inkjet printing.

Credit: Biodomotica

Northwestern University researchers have developed a graphene-based ink that is highly conductive and tolerant to bending, which they used to inkjet-print graphene patterns that could be used for extremely detailed, conductive electrodes.

The researchers say the resulting patterns are 250 times more conductive than conventional methods for printing graphene-based electronic patterns and could lead to low-cost, foldable electronics.

"Graphene has a unique combination of properties that is ideal for next-generation electronics, including high electrical conductivity, mechanical flexibility, and chemical stability," says Northwestern professor Mark Hersam. "By formulating an inkjet-printable ink based on graphene, we now have an inexpensive and scalable path for exploiting these properties in real-world technologies."

Inkjet printing with graphene has been challenging because it is difficult to harvest a sufficient amount of graphene without compromising its electronic properties. The researchers say they developed a method for mass-producing graphene that maintains its conductivity and can be carried out at room temperature using ethanol and ethyl cellulose to exfoliate graphite.

From Northwestern University Newscenter
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