In the UK's concerted efforts to become a hub for graphene commercialization, one of the key partnerships between academic research and industry has been the one between the Cambridge Graphene Centerlocated at the University of Cambridge and a number of companies, including Nokia, Dyson, BaE systems, Philips and Plastic Logic.
The last on this list,Plastic Logic, was spun out originally from the University of Cambridge in 2000. However, since its beginnings it has required a $200 million investment from RusNano to keep itself afloat back in 2011 and now calls Mountain View, California, home.
Nonetheless, it seems the connections to the old alma mater are still strong. Plastic Logic has developed in partnership with the Cambridge Graphene Centre for what it claims is the first graphene-based flexible display ever produced.
Research around the world has been looking at different avenues for applying graphene to flexible displays, where it offers a potential alternative to the relatively scarce indium tin oxide (ITO), which is used as a transparent conductor to control display pixels.
In this latest work, the pixel electronics, or backplane, employs an electrode made from solution-processed graphene. Here, the graphene-based electrode replaces a sputtered metal electrode layer that Plastic Logic uses in its conventional devices.
The video below provides a recipe of sorts of how the graphene backplane is produced: