The days of folding your tablet or phone to fit in a purse or small pocket are approaching fast with the unveiling of foldable electronics. Unlike bendable substrate-based flexible electronics, foldable electronics rely on foldable substrates that come with a very stable electricity conductor that can withstand folding. It means that the conductor embroiled on the substrate must also be foldable.
Researchers have already considered a paper as the ultimate foldable substrate to replace plastic substrates since it is cheap, versatile and can be rolled up.
In the past, there has been positive progress in several foldable electronic applications. For instance, researchers in nanotechnology have already been successful making foldable paper batteries powered by algae as well as printing solar cells on paper.
Perhaps one of the most promising paths for foldable electronics is the use of graphene circuits based on paper substrates. Researchers have been able to fabricate foldable graphene circuits for use in electronics.
Graphene is the ideal candidate for foldable devices since it has an inimitable combination of properties that make it ideal for making unique conductive ink since it is chemically stable, mechanically flexible and suitable in conducting electricity. An Inkjet-printable ink made from graphene will lead to cheap and scalable path towards real-world technologies.
The creation of a high performance foldable battery and the development of graphene based electronic circuits means that future electronics will be flexible. Manufactures will now design gadgets differently since they will now be foldable or rollable. Screen will now be bendable around corners and computers will be wearable. Electronics will be paper thin and exceptionally light. Giant electronic manufacturers such as Nokia and Samsung have invested a lot in research and development of foldable electronics and have already demonstrated a lot of success in this field.