London, June 26 (IANS) Researchers have discovered an innovative method to produce the wonder material graphene significantly cheaper and easier than previously possible.
The high-quality graphene can pave the way for development of the first truly flexible “electronic skin” that could be used in robots, the team from University of Exeter reported.
The team, led by professor Monica Craciun, used the new technique to create the first transparent and flexible touch-sensor that could enable the development of artificial skin for use in robot manufacturing.
According to Craciun, the discovery could pave the way for “a graphene-driven industrial revolution” to take place.
The vision for a “graphene-driven industrial revolution” is motivating intensive research on the synthesis of high-quality and low-cost graphene.
Currently, industrial graphene is produced using a technique called Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD).
The new technique grows graphene in an industrial cold wall CVD system, a state-of-the-art piece of equipment recently developed by UK graphene company Moorfield.
This so-called “nanoCVD system” is based on a concept already used for other manufacturing purposes in the semiconductor industry.
This technique grows graphene 100 times faster than conventional methods, reduces costs by 99 percent and has enhanced electronic quality.
The research team used this new technique to create the first graphene-based transparent and flexible touch sensor.
The sensors can be used not only to create more flexible electronics but also a truly-flexible “electronic skin” that could be used to revolutionise future robots.
The results were published in the leading scientific journal Advanced Materials.