Testing the Bond Between Graphene and Elastic Substrate
Flexible electronics is one of the technologies many across the world are working to invent. One material that may help them is graphene, due to its special physical and electrical properties. Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Texas have recently examined how graphene behaves when bonded to an elastic substrate; a necessary piece of research for elastic electronics to become reality.
Graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon which can conduct electricity very quickly while also being mechanically flexible and strong. Those properties make it ideal for flexible electronics, but only if it works well with other flexible and elastic materials. The researchers decided to test this by placing a single layer of graphene onto an elastic polyethylene terephthalate substrate. When they stretched the substrate, they found the edges of the graphene began stopped stretching as quickly as the substrate after it was stretched to just 0.3% its original length. The center of the graphene stopped stretching when it was stretched by 1.2% to 1.6%.
This information is important as it tells us about the interface properties of graphene with the substrate. The researchers also found that when the substrate was allowed to relax to its original length, the graphene buckled, forming a wavy pattern that made it easier to stretch out and back.
Source: North Carolina State University