Printed Graphene technology could revolutionise wearable electronics

Printed Graphene technology could revolutionise wearable electronics
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A novel method for printed Graphene technology could revolutionise wearable electronics and IoT applications.

The method has been developed by a research team based at the University of Manchester, and reduces the cost of conductive Graphene inks for printed Graphene technology. This has potential benefits for technologies such as wearable electronics and semiconductors.

Printed electronics and the Internet of Things.

Printed electronics are a breakthrough in the everyday applications of information technology. Internet of Things (IoT) applications will be promoted by the possibility of printing electronic circuits.

The development of printed conductive inks for electronic applications has grown quickly, with applications in transistors, sensors, antennas RFID tags and wearable electronics. Currently, conductive inks use metal nanoparticles for their high electrical conductivity. These materials can be expensive or easily oxidised, which is not ideal for low-cost IoT applications.

To increase the spread of IoT applications, printed electronics need to be scaled up. Professor Ling Hao said: “Materials characterisation is crucial to be able to ensure performance reproducibility and scale up for commercial applications of graphene and 2D materials.”

A new method for printed Graphene technology

The research team has found that a material called dihydrolevogucosenone, otherwise known as Cyrene, can be used. Cyrene is non-toxic, environmentally- friendly, sustainable, and can provide higher concentrations and conductivity of graphene ink.

Professor Zhiurn Hu, the deputy head of Materials, Devices and Systems Division at The University of Manchester, commented “This work demonstrates that printed graphene technology can be low cost, sustainable, and environmentally friendly for ubiquitous wireless connectivity in IoT era as well as provide RF energy harvesting for low power electronics”.

Kewen Pan, the lead author on the paper, added: “This perhaps is a significant step towards commercialisation of printed graphene technology. I believe it would be an evolution in printed electronics industry because the material is such low cost, stable and environmental friendly”.

According to the University of Manchester, Graphene could potentially make the electronics currently limited to science fiction a reality, including: faster transistors, semiconductors, bendable phones ,and flexible wearable electronics.

Video credit: The University of Manchester

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