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Graphene based material to revolutionise electronics industry?

Graphene based material to revolutionise electronics? Image courtesy of Jim Wileman

The most transparent, lightweight and flexible material ever for conducting electricity has been touted by a team from the University of Exeter.

Dubbed GraphExeter, the researchers believe the material could revolutionise the creation of wearable electronic devices and be used for the creation of 'smart' mirrors or windows, with computerised interactive features.

Because the material is also transparent over a wide light spectrum, the team claims it could enhance the efficiency of solar panels by more than 30%.

To create GraphExeter, the team sandwiched molecules of ferric chloride between two layers of graphene. The Ferric chloride was said to enhance the electrical conductivity of the graphene without affecting the material's transparency. As such, the team was able to create a material that was much more flexible than indium tin oxide, which is currently the main conductive material used in electronics.

Lead researcher, University of Exeter engineer Dr Monica Craciun, commented: "GraphExeter could revolutionise the electronics industry. It outperforms any other carbon based transparent conductor used in electronics and could be used for a range of applications, from solar panels to smart t shirts. We are very excited about the potential of this material and look forward to seeing where it can take the electronics industry in the future."

GraphExeter was produced by a team from the University of Exeter's Centre for Graphene Science. The researchers are now developing a spray on version which could be applied straight onto fabrics, mirrors and windows.

Laura Hopperton

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