The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced on August 11 that Korea University mechanical engineering Professor Han Chang-soo, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and the Korea Institute of Machine and Materials developed a technology for transferring graphene formed on a metallic substrate directly onto another desired substrate without any damage or additional treatments.
Graphene is a film with the thickness that can be a single carbon atom. Its electrical conductivity is over 100 times that of copper, and its elasticity is more than 200 times that of steel. Nowadays, it is gaining attention as a novel material that can be applied to curved display panels and wearable devices.
In general, high-quality graphene of at least several centimeters has to be synthesized using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method. Then it has to be transferred onto a desired substrate in order to produce a graphene-based product. During the process, the graphene should be coated with a thin polymer layer, and a metallic plate should be melted so that it is not folded or torn. This process requires a lot of time and money. The process has also been vulnerable to impurities and damage, which has hindered the commercialization of graphene.
However, the research team developed a new method. This new method starts off with the graphene on a metallic plate. Then, using heat, an electric field, and mechanical pressure, the graphene is attached to a new substrate with strong adhesive force. The graphene is then simply pulled away from the metallic substrate mechanically. This new method takes a lot less time and cost, and also reduces the possibility for impurities to damage the graphene.