Layered graphene bests ITO's transparent conductivity

Summary:Sandwiching Ferric Chloride between two layers of graphene results in the most flexible, transparent conductive material ever, according to scientists at Exeter University.In a paper in Advanced Materials, the scientists describe how the sandwiching improves graphene’s poor conductivity – relative to the current transparent conductor of choice in electronics: Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).

Sandwiching Ferric Chloride between two layers of graphene results in the most flexible, transparent conductive material ever, according to scientists at Exeter University.

In a paper in Advanced Materials, the scientists describe how the sandwiching improves graphene’s poor conductivity – relative to the current transparent conductor of choice in electronics: Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).

In the abstract, the authors write: "FeCl3-FLGs outperform the current limit of transparent conductors such as indium tin oxide, carbon-nanotube films, and doped graphene materials. This makes FeCl3-FLG materials the best transparent conductors for optoelectronic devices."

A replacement for ITO needs to be found as it's scarcity – world supplies are expected to be depleted by 2017 - is pushing prices upward. But graphene has long been touted as a likely replacement, largely because it is more transparent and much more flexible. So where ITO does a great job of being a smart screen, graphene could be incorporated into far more flexible devices, or even clothing.

The problem has been that graphene’s so-called sheet resistance limits its conductivity. Layering it with ferric chloride overcomes this, without sacrificing transparency.

In the press announcementthe Exeter team says that the next step is to develop a spray-on version of their material, which could be applied directly to windows, fabric and other surfaces.

Topics: Graphene

About

Lucy Sherriff is a journalist, science geek and general liker of all things techie and clever. In a previous life she put her physics degree to moderately good use by writing about science for that other tech website, The Register. After a bit of a break, it seemed like a good time to start blogging about weird quantum stuff for ZDNet. An... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.