Graphene-Based Ink for Transparent & Flexible Printed Electronics

Researchers at the UK's University of Cambridge have developed a graphene-based ink with properties including flexibility, optical transparency, and electrical conductivity. A printed piano prototype, designed in collaboration with Novalia Limited, demonstrates the ink's potential. The keys of the transparent piano are made from graphene-based inks, which have been printed onto a plastic film. These keys, working as electrodes, are connected to a simple electronic circuit-board, a battery, and speaker. When a person touches the graphene electrode, the amount of electrical charge held in the key changes. This is then detected and redirected by the circuit to the speaker, creating the musical note. The University of Cambridge researchers also developed a flexible prototype digital display in collaboration with Printed Electronics Limited. The display uses conventional printable materials, but with a transparent, electrically conductive graphene layer on top. The graphene layer is flexible and more conductive and transparent than the conventional polymer it replaces.