Samsung announced on its Samsung Tomorrow blog today that it’s developing “a breakthrough synthesis method” that will speed up the commercialization of graphene, a material that could provide a number of benefits to manufacturers building electronic devices.
Samsung, which developed the new process at its Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) in partnership with Sungkyunkwan University, says the new method is “one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history.” What does this mean for consumers exactly? Samsung says the materials flexibility, high heat conductibility, and durability make it a perfect option for small devices like wearables and devices with flexible displays. Samsung explained a little bit about the discovery and the hurdles researchers faced before developing the new process:
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Through its partnership with Sungkyungkwan University’s School of Advanced Materials Science and Engineering, SAIT uncovered a new method of growing large area, single crystal wafer scale graphene. Engineers around the world have invested heavily in research for the commercialization of graphene, but have faced many obstacles due to the challenges associated with it. In the past, researchers have found that multi-crystal synthesis – the process of synthesizing small graphene particles to produce large-area graphene – deteriorated the electric and mechanical properties of the material, limiting its application range and making it difficult to commercialize.
The new method developed by SAIT and Sungkyunkwan University synthesizes large-area graphene into a single crystal on a semiconductor, maintaining its electric and mechanical properties. The new method repeatedly synthesizes single crystal graphene on the current semiconductor wafer scale.
Samsung didn’t provide any info on when the material might actually make it into our next-gen devices, but it plans to publish a paper on its research in an April 4 issue of Science Magazine and ScienceExpress.