Samsung scientists make breakthrough in graphene technology, company says

4 Apr 2014

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Samsung scientists have made a significant breakthrough in the development of graphene, a super-thin material that could be used to make bendable gadgets and microchips, the company has said.

According to Samsung’s announcement, a new method the scientists developed synthesises large-area graphene into a single crystal on a semiconductor, keeping its electric and mechanical properties.

One of the project’s leads said of the news, “This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history. We expect this discovery to accelerate the commercialisation of graphene, which could unlock the next era of consumer electronic technology.”

The technology is seen as the next step in the evolution of almost all forms of computing, in a similar way to the effect silicon had on the microchip and the entire technology sector. However, graphene is 100 times more electrically conductive than silicon.

A number of research groups, particularly from some of the larger Silicon Valley companies, have been busy trying to perfect the material, which is the width of an atom.

Previously, IBM had claimed to have produced the world’s most advanced form of the material, but the costs involved in producing it have been considered far too expensive for it to be produced on a commercial scale.

Wearable and bendable technologies will be the first commercial products that will benefit from the technology, and graphene has the potential to create almost limitless opportunities once it enters the mass market.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic