April 7, 2014
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Could Soon Feature Graphene Technology
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Graphene is a future-looking substance that Samsung might just have brought into the "now" category by creating a new method for the production of the material consumer electronics firms are seeking to advance the industry. Samsung has developed a way to speed the synthesis of graphene, which can be used in consumer electronics including flexible displays and wearable devices.
Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) worked in partnership with Sunkyunkwan University to develop a new method for synthesizing graphene. The material has one-hundred times greater electron mobility than silicon. Silicon is used in semiconductors today, and an increased availability of graphene could mean that semiconductors can become more powerful and more functional.
“This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history,” said the laboratory leaders at SAIT’s Lab, in a statement from Samsung. “We expect this discovery to accelerate the commercialization of graphene, which could unlock the next era of consumer electronic technology.”
The new method involves growing large area, single crystal wafer scale graphene.
"Engineers around the world have invested heavily in research for the commercialization of graphene, but have faced many obstacles due to the challenges associated with it. In the past, researchers have found that multi-crystal synthesis – the process of synthesizing small graphene particles to produce large-area graphene – deteriorated the electric and mechanical properties of the material, limiting its application range and making it difficult to commercialize," said the Samsung corporate statement.
Some attempts to produce graphene on a commercial scale have come close.
In 2012 researchers from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Warsaw and the Interdisciplinary Research Institute in Lille developed a low cost method to manufacture multi-layered graphene sheets.
Samsung says that in order to commercialize graphene it is necessary to develop a new method to grow a single crystal graphene onto a large area. In the semiconductor industry silicon is grown on a wafer. New methods of producing single-layer graphene could make it possible to replace silicon with a material capable of providing more power.
The new methods could make it possible for commercial use of graphene, CNET reports. Development is still necessary.
"Graphene is more conductive to electrical charge and heat than silicon, which is used in semiconductors today. At the same time, it manages to be stronger than steel while still remaining flexible, which according to Samsung makes it 'the perfect material for use in flexible displays, wearables and other next generation electronic devices,'" wrote CNET's Rich Trenholm, quoting a Samsung corporate statement.
Advances in graphene could mean more powerful and more capable electronics. The substance will advance the manufacture of flexible displays, where the consumer might be able to fold up a screen or have enhanced ability to set the right angle on a display, Ubergizmo reports.
"Flexible electronics could be the future, and Samsung intends to ride one of the first few waves after experiencing a graphene breakthrough in their research, having grown flaw-free graphene on a large scale successfully which could translate to mass manufacturing for consumer electronics in the future," wrote Ubergizmo's Edwin Kee.