Using an ink containing tiny graphene flakes, scientists have ink-jet printed graphene patterns that can be used for printing finely detailed, highly conductive electrodes.
Although ink-jet printing has been previously demonstrated, the graphene patterns in the new study are about 250 times more conductive than previous patterns.
The printed graphene ink is also highly tolerant to bending stresses, with the ability to withstand folding with only a slight decrease in conductivity.
The researchers, led by Ethan B Scott from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, have published their study on inkjet-printing grapheme patterns in a recent issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
The researchers explain that inkjet printing is an attractive method of printing electronic components because it is low cost, can print large areas, and can print on flexible substrates, says Phys.org. Researchers have previously used inkjet printing to fabricate components such as transistors, solar cells, LEDs and sensors.
However, printing highly conductive electrodes is still a challenge because of the requirement for very fine resolution.
Recently, researchers have turned to grapheme due to its high conductivity, chemical stability, and intrinsic flexibility compared to other inks.