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Atom-sized, bendable graphene touchscreen tech seen as potential key for future Apple devices

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Rigid glass touchscreens may give way to bendable, foldable portable displays in the future, thanks to utilizing graphene --?an advanced technology that has generated interest from Apple, Samsung and others.


A sheet of rippling graphene, via university of Texas at Austin.


A pair of reports in the last week have highlighted graphene as a material with the potential to revolutionize the technology industry. While graphene could power semiconductors and advanced circuitry decades in the future as technology improves, the most immediate implementation would be touchscreens.

Michael Patterson, CEO of Graphene Frontiers, said in an interview with Fortune that graphene in sheet or film form has "incredible potential for electronics" that will take time to develop. But in the short-term, he believes graphene could be used for basic touchscreens in the next six to 12 months.

In a separate piece, Bloomberg went a few steps further, and suggested that graphene could be used to create flexible displays for portable devices. Author Jungah Lee noted that Apple specifically mentions the use of graphene in at least two patent applications, while its chief rival Samsung has 38 patents and at least 17 applications that make note of using graphene.


Graphene device concept, via Inmesol.


The report suggested that graphene could be a key technology if Apple or some other company were to develop "bendable smartwatches or tablets that fold up into smartphones."

In sheet form, graphene is just one atom thick and is made of pure carbon. It's an excellent conductor of electricity and is especially strong for its light weight, estimated at 100 times more durable than steel.

In addition to being strong and conductive, it's also flexible and transparent. That's why the material could be "ideal for bendable touchscreen displays," according to Bloomberg.
post #2 of 33

Apple and Samsung are behind this.

So, who owns this technology now?  Whoever buys the royalties or whoever buys the inventor?

Or, to whom ever the inventor gives royalties to?

post #3 of 33

Ah, graphene. There’s not much you can’t do. And what you can’t, graphyne takes care of. Also stanene.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #4 of 33

I still fail to see the point of a flexible screen if the parts behind it aren't flexible as well.

post #5 of 33
Okay, its flexible and transparent. But nobody but a surgeon wants to handle something one atom thick (it'd slice right through you), so there's going to have to be something the graphene is adhered to, plus all the layers of circuitry that create a display. You know, LEDs LCDs, or whatever that emits the light for each pixel. Are those bendable too? Nope. There seems to be a huge gap in understanding between curved displays (a display created on a curved surface) and usefully bendable displays (which goes well beyond that recent Android phone with a curved display that you could flex a little bit). I doubt that grapheme, on its own, takes us more than an imaginary step toward truly bendable [read: foldable] displays.
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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post #6 of 33
I imagine this tech would make creating curved screens easier. Even though the device's background hardware isn't flexible, this would make it easier to curve the screen on top of it. Still not too useful on an iPhone. But It'd be great to have a desktop monitor that's 3 feet wide and curved around you.
post #7 of 33
Exciting! Not only will future displays have to deal with glare from the front, they'll be transparent so they'll have to deal with glare from behind!

Of course, we all know what has Apple interested in this tech: the display layer is ONE ATOM thick. Jony Ive just got wood. 1biggrin.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #8 of 33
Only if Apple could get its hands on it before Shamesung
post #9 of 33
YAY! More technology for Apple to sue Samsung over! I can't wait!
post #10 of 33

I like the sound of this.

 

Whatever the material ends up being, I think there will be flexible, rollable, foldable, or even crunchable materials allowing larger and easily stowed displays.

 

Something for our kids and grandkids in the future, so they regard the tech we have now as hopelessly outdated.

 

; )

post #11 of 33
Atom-sized displays! How are my aging eyes supposed to read them! I have enough trouble already with the rotten iOS 7 font and white text...
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by popnfresh View Post

YAY! More technology for Apple to sue Samsung over! I can't wait!
Why are you posting again?

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by helia View Post

Only if Apple could get its hands on it before Shamesung

Someone is going to have to supply Apple with those atom thick sheets!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Someone is going to have to supply Apple with those atom thick sheets!

 Shouldn't it be the Graphene Frontiers or am I mistaken?

post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by helia View Post

 Shouldn't it be the Graphene Frontiers or am I mistaken?

No idea who they are. Companies that do R&D aren't necessarily also manufacturers.

Can they mass produce them to Apple's specifications and quality demands?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Ah, graphene. There’s not much you can’t do. And what you can’t, graphyne takes care of. Also stanene.

 

Aren't those 2 characters in Game of Thrones...

na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #17 of 33
Probably take years before we see this in a smaetphone not 6-12 months
post #18 of 33

"...tablet that folds up into a smartphone..." is the new Jet Pack.

post #19 of 33
Graphene production looks as tho it might have some environmental negatives that need to be figured out
http://www.kurzweilai.net/graphenes-negative-environmental-impacts
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #20 of 33
I
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Probably take years before we see this in a smaetphone not 6-12 months

I suppose you'd know
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by helia View Post

Only if Apple could get its hands on it before Shamesung

 

Apple generally doesn't do pioneering level R&D, they do top notch engineering level R&D

 

I don't know of anything whatever Apple has to do with graphene because they generally don't manufacture semiconductors or do anything  in nanotechnology manufacturing.

 

Quite a few nano scale firms can make graphene, but I believe Samsung is the furthest ahead in developing commercially viable methods.

 

Where Apple tends to get in the game is after that.  Once Samsung has it and can make it at a commercial scale, then what?  Hey, Graphene!!  Apple will put a lot of though and work into what can be done with it, find new ways to apply and use the technology, and then patent the hell out of every possible scenario of usage they can come up with. 

post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post
 

Apple and Samsung are behind this.

So, who owns this technology now?  Whoever buys the royalties or whoever buys the inventor?

Or, to whom ever the inventor gives royalties to?

 

Nobody owns Graphene, it's just an extremely thin sheet of graphite. What companies will usually patent are unique methods of application. For instance Samsung could probably have patents on fabrication processes of its use in semiconductors. When viable, graphene would be used in place of silicon, making chips more efficient; less power, run cooler, etc. However, from what I've read, this sort of application is at least ten years out.

 

Just as no one owns sapphire, companies have patented fabrication processes of using it as an insulator (SOI) in semiconductors.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #23 of 33

Anyone have links to the actual patents that were inexplicably not discussed in detail in this story?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #24 of 33
>just one atom thick...

What is this? A display for ANTS?!?!?
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by WakeCharlie View Post

>just one atom thick...

What is this? A display for ANTS?!?!?

 

It's a design goal for the iPhone.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

...Of course, we all know what has Apple interested in this tech: the display layer is ONE ATOM thick. Jony Ive just got wood. 1biggrin.gif

 

I feel that this is more likely the particular reason for interest, thin, bright, low-power displays. At this juncture at least.

 

All the best.

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by j1h15233 View Post
 

I still fail to see the point of a flexible screen if the parts behind it aren't flexible as well.

 

 

Graphene may well handle that as well. Samsung have produced low quality, flexible graphene field-effect transistors. 

 

 

Wafer-Scale Growth of Single-Crystal Monolayer Graphene on Reusable Hydrogen-Terminated Germanium
Jae-Hyun Lee, Eun Kyung Lee, Won-Jae Joo, Yamujin Jang, Byung-Sung Kim, Jae Young Lim, Soon-Hyung Choi, Sung Joon Ahn, Joung Real Ahn, Min-Ho Park, Cheol-Woong Yang, Byoung Lyong Choi, Sung-Woo Hwang, and Dongmok Whang
Science 1252268Published online 3 April 2014 [DOI:10.1126/science.1252268]


Edited by Nairb - 5/15/14 at 11:21pm
post #28 of 33

It's pretty amazing that humanity can build things that are only 1 atom thick. It's not necessary to come up with totally new ideas to revolutionise our lives, just the ability to make existing things teeny weeny would really change everything. Just imagine tiny robots swimming around in your bloodstream killing any disease before it takes hold.

post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Anyone have links to the actual patents that were inexplicably not discussed in detail in this story?

Use Google's Advanced Patent Search and type in graphene as the search term. Lots of patents involving it. IBM looks to have done a LOT of work with it based on the number of patents.
http://www.google.com/advanced_patent_search

Can you find the same info with Bing or Yahoo or DuckDuckGo?

EDIT: Searching for graphene display returns very pertinent results. Samsung, Guardian Industries, Princeton, and various Chinese researchers are pretty active.
Edited by Gatorguy - 5/16/14 at 6:09am
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post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

Okay, its flexible and transparent. But nobody but a surgeon wants to handle something one atom thick (it'd slice right through you), so there's going to have to be something the graphene is adhered to, plus all the layers of circuitry that create a display. You know, LEDs LCDs, or whatever that emits the light for each pixel. Are those bendable too? Nope. There seems to be a huge gap in understanding between curved displays (a display created on a curved surface) and usefully bendable displays (which goes well beyond that recent Android phone with a curved display that you could flex a little bit). I doubt that grapheme, on its own, takes us more than an imaginary step toward truly bendable [read: foldable] displays.

I don't think the implication is that a display would consist of only a single layer of graphene. Even if the display surface was the thickness of a sheet of paper, that's still on the order of 400,000 times the thickness of a layer of graphene. That means some incredibly complex arrangements of graphene layers (or perhaps various other useful molecules could be sandwiched in there) while still being transparent and flexible.

 

Also, a display need not be be backlit with rigid LED's or LCD panels (or at all) by necessity. There have been examples of working, flexible light sources manufactured by leveraging graphene already. So you likely can have your flexible backlighting system. Or even better, what if a graphene display cell structure was actually directly emissive itself?

post #31 of 33
"in the last week"

you mean in the last 5 to 10 years.
post #32 of 33
Is this the turning point? Will Graphene finally make it into a consumer product? I've been following this technology for many years. Every other month it seems there's some miracle claim for the stuff. But nothing ever makes it out of a lab! Maybe it'll be different this time...
post #33 of 33

"Transparent aluminum?"

 

"That's the ticket, laddie."

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