Electronics giant Samsung is one of several businesses that have shown “bendy phone” prototypes, made using so-called flexible OLED technology.
Samsung has made a breakthrough in a fresh ‘wonder material’ poised to create the next generation of wearable technology. The organization’s biggest brains have prepared up a method for growing graphene on a larger scale that could just take the atom-thin material from the lab towards the world that is real.
Mobile phones that fold, razor slim handsets powered by flexible batteries or see-through solar panels built directly into a screen that is colorful. These visions of our future that is mobile may a world away from our rigid, fragile and power-hungry smart phones today.
However they could all soon become truth thanks to the “wonder material” known as graphene. Believe the hype and these single-atom-thick sheets of carbon could soon replace just about every material and component used in modern day smartphones, making it lighter, faster along with more bells and whistles than ever before.
If these claims appear extraordinary, then therefore too is the material which may cause them to possible. Graphene is constructed of a element that is single carbon, arranged in a flat, unchanging crystal pattern that appears like chicken wire. It is simply very thin layers of graphite – the same as found in a common pencil although it may sound rare and complex. In fact it’s now realized that virtually every swing of a pencil leaves fragments of graphene within the shining grey trace regarding the paper.
It was discovered in 2004 and will be the latest addition to a long type of material advances which have made our mobile phones feasible. Look at the silicon slivers into which millions of electronic elements could be etched; the lithium-ion batteries that pack a day or maybe more worth of cost, plus the low-energy light emitting diodes that will monitor video in vivid colors.
Exactly what makes graphene remarkable is its ability to defend myself against some of these functions. And furthermore, it could conduct electricity better than copper, has strength greater than steel and in addition shows extraordinary elasticity. So great is its potential that in 2010 its discoverers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov had been awarded the Nobel prize for Physics.
Not only have a large number of scientific papers been published describing graphene’s many aspects; over 7,000 patents have now been issued, many on technologies that could end up in smartphones. No wonder electronic devices giant Samsung has invested huge sums into developing graphene as a material for screens and electronics; Nokia is backing a billion-euro project to exploit the carbon material and IBM has started a research effort that is formidable.
The product is inexpensive, see-through and critically is electrically conductive. That makes it perfect for the displays that are flat-screen on smart phones that require electricity to power the optical elements, and to react to the user touch.
But many researchers now predict that a one-atom form that is thick of – called graphene – could hold the important thing to future mobile phones.
The material, which is commonly discovered in pencils, was found in 2004 by Russian-born physicist Andre Geim, who won a Nobel prize for the ongoing work in 2010.
Graphene consists of a sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb crystal lattice. It is both strong and flexible.
Waif of a window
Its transparency, thickness, flexibility and ability to conduct electricity make it potentially useful for building future touch screens.
Its ability to conducts electrons faster than silicon means graphene is also used to build a new generation of electronic devices, such as this transistor.
While not much to look at under a microscope, transistors would be the building blocks of all computer potato chips.
Thin and thinner
Many companies such as IBM, Samsung and Nokia are exploring the likelihood of graphene for everything from batteries and cameras to screens and ear pieces.
Nokia’s Morph is an idea that could be worn round the wrist or used like a standard phone. The phone maker believes graphene could make the phone a real possibility.