Graphene in Optical Electronics

Future use of graphene in Optical Electronics

Graphene, a 2D (two dimensional) carbon is a highly versatile material with amazing properties destined to change the way we live and communicate. It is currently the strongest and lightest material known to man.  Its ability to conduct heat and electricity is much better than any other known material.

Expectations are high that graphene will improve efficiency and performance of current devices. In the future, graphene developments alongside other 2D materials will create amazing compounds to be used in all fields of technology.

Graphene electronics

Graphene electronics

Scientists believe that soon graphene will be used commercially on the optoelectronics field, more especially in touch screens, LCDs and in organic lighting diodes (OLEDs). For any material to be used as an optoelectronic, it should transmit more than 90% of light and have electrical conductivity properties exceeding 1 x 106 Ω1m1. This means the product should have extremely low electrical resistance.  Graphene being almost completely a transparent material and is able to transmit up to 97.7% of light makes it a perfect material.  It is also the most conductive material so far known to man.  This makes graphene one of the most effective materials suitable for optoelectronic applications in the near future such as, smart screens, tablet LCD desktop computers and smart televisions.

Indium tin oxide (ITO) is currently the most widely used material in optoelectronics. It also performs very well but with the discovery of graphene we are likely to see it replace ITO. Graphene potentially matches with the properties of current high standards ITO, even in its current underdeveloped state.  This is because graphene has additional wonder properties which can enable very advanced optoelectronics technology. One basic property is the ability to change the optical absorption of graphene by adjusting the Fermi level.

High quality graphene is said to have very high tensile strength, with a bending radius of 5-10mm, which makes it less than what is required for a rolling e-paper.  This makes graphene the best material to be used in optical electronics.

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