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01
May
2012

New material wears electronics on its sleeve

A team from the University of Exeter says they have developed a material that may revolutionize the electronics industry – taking a big leap forward in the possibility of wearable electronics, as well as ”smart” mirrors and windows.
“Called GraphExeter, the material could revolutionize the creation of wearable electronic devices, such as clothing containing computers, phones and MP3 players,” a release by the University states.

The material could also be used to create mirrors or windows with computerized interactive features according to the developers.

The material is transparent over a wide light spectrum and could increase the efficiency of solar panels by 30 percent.

Adapted from graphene, GraphExeter is much more flexible than indium tin oxide (ITO), the main conductive material currently used in electronics. At just one-atom-thick, graphene is the thinnest substance capable of conducting electricity.

ITO is becoming increasingly expensive and is a finite resource, expected to run out in 2017.

Lead researcher, University of Exeter engineer Dr Monica Craciun said: “GraphExeter could revolutionize the electronics industry. It outperforms any other carbon-based transparent conductor used in electronics and could be used for a range of applications, from solar panels to ‘smart’ tee-shirts. We are very excited about the potential of this material and look forward to seeing where it can take the electronics industry in the future.”

These research findings are published in the journal Advanced Materials.
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