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Graphene and LEDs Made with Super-Thin Crystals Pave the Way for Flexible Electronics

Date:2015-02-04  Source:lighttimes on line  Browse Time:5964

February 3, 2015...Researchers from the University of Manchester and the University of Shiefield have successfully created extremely flat LEDs with grapheme and 10 to 40 atom thick crystals. Nobel Laureate Sir Kostya Novoselov led the team that engineered the LEDs on the atomic level. They published the results in the Nature Materials. The unique properties of Graphene may someday allow the creation of semi-transparent, flexible electronics, according to the researchers.

The new research demonstrated that graphene and related materials that are essentially 2D could be employed in light emitting devices for the next-generation of mobile phones, TVs, and tablets and televisions making them incredibly thin, and even flexible, durable and semi-transparent. The researchers combined different ultra-thin crystals that can emit light from across their whole surfaces. Such LEDs may one day form flexible and semitransparent displays.

One-atom thick graphene was first isolated and explored in 2004 at The University of Manchester. Other 2D materials, such as molybdenum disulphid and boron nitiride have been discovered since then, opening new areas of research and potential applications. Stacked layers of various "2D" materials, with the addition of quantum wells to control the movement of electrons have now revealed the potential for customized, grapheme-based optoelectronics.

Freddie Withers, the University of Manchester's Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow, who led the devices' production said,“As our new type of LED’s only consist of a few atomic layers of 2D materials they are flexible and transparent. We envisage a new generation of optoelectronic devices to stem from this work, from simple transparent lighting and lasers and to more complex applications.”

Explaining the construction of the LED device, Sir Kostya Novoselov said, “By preparing the heterostructures on elastic and transparent substrates, we show that they can provide the basis for flexible and semi-transparent electronics.

“The range of functionalities for the demonstrated heterostructures is expected to grow further on increasing the number of available 2D crystals and improving their electronic quality.”

Professor Alexander Tartakovskii, from The University of Sheffield claimed, “Despite the early days in the raw materials manufacture, the quantum efficiency (photons emitted per electron injected) is already comparable to organic LEDs.”

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