Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Graphene May Be Key to Flexible Electronics

Samsung may be on the verge of a game-changer when it comes to wearable technology. Researchers from the company reported in Science that they have discovered a way to create graphene in a single wafer layer.

Graphene is an ultrathin flexible material that is about 200 times stronger than steel, but also very expensive and difficult to produce, according to a report in VentureBeat. Prior to the Samsung discovery, graphene crystals had to be stacked to make large amounts, which also reduced its electrical conductivity.

An inexpensive method for producing graphene would make wearable devices stronger, thinner, and more flexible. It would also position Samsung at the front of the technology.

Graphene, discovered in 2004, is made by shaving simple graphite into transparent sheets of carbon atoms. One ounce is enough to cover 28 football fields and its possible uses are only limited by the imagination of the researcher.

There are also reports that Apple is on the graphene bandwagon, working with the material to power its next generation of iPhones or iPad smartcovers by integrating solar technology. 

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