Graphene can be considered one of the most promising materials ever discovered. However, commercial applications for this innovative one-atom-thick material are still lagging and the promise is taking long years to be delivered.
This may soon change because a group of INL researchers found an innovative way to produce environmentally friendly graphene inks suitable for the fabrication of commercial touch screen sensors.
According to Andrea Capasso, the researcher who coordinated this just-released work, “we prepared an environmentally friendly graphene ink by liquid-phase exfoliation, devising an optimized approach (underpinning on shear-mixing and tip sonication techniques) that allowed avoiding the use of toxic solvents while retaining control on the properties of the material. The graphene ink was used to fabricated flexible electrodes with high electrical conductivity and optical transparency. The electrodes served to assemble a working touch-screen prototype with high SNR (14 dB) and multi-touch functionality. Our results illustrate a potential pathway towards the integration of graphene materials in commercial electronic devices”.
The electrodes feature a low sheet resistance (290 Ω □−1) and high optical transmittance (78%), which allowed the realization of a working prototype of a multi-touch screen sensor with high performance.
Besides Andrea Capasso, the team included other researchers from INL, Pedro Alpuim, Paulo Ferreira, Sergey Tkachev, Miguel Monteiro, João Santos, and Mohamed Ben Hassine, in collaboration with Ernesto Placidi (Universitá di Roma La Sapienza, Italy) and Pedro Marques from the Portuguese manufacturer Displax.
The full scientific article may be accessed here: Environmentally Friendly Graphene Inks for Touch Screen Sensors – Tkachev – – Advanced Functional Materials – Wiley Online Library