Graphene, which is stronger and stiffer than carbon fiber, has proved impractical to employ on a large scale, with researchers limited to using small flakes of the material.
The research team, which is led by ORNL’s Ivan Vlassiouk, has fabricated the graphene/polymer composite sheets that could pave the way for a new era in flexible electronics. If Vlassiouk and his team are able to reduce the cost and demonstrate scalability, teh researchers envision graphene being used in a wide variety of electronics (displays, printed electronics, thermal management) and energy (photovoltaics, filtration, energy storage) applications.
The findings are reported in the journal Applied Materials & Interfaces.
“Before our work, superb mechanical properties of graphene were shown at a micro scale,” said Vlassiouk, a member of ORNL’s Energy and Transportation Science Division. “We have extended this to a larger scale, which considerably extends the potential applications and market for graphene.”