The Centre of Process Innovation (CPI) has announced that it will be part of a UK-based collaboration to develop the next generation of graphene-based ultra-barrier materials for flexible transparent plastic electronic based displays. The materials on which this work focuses on are required for the next generation of smartphones, tablets and wearable electronics and the twelve month project titled ‘Gravia’ will investigate the feasibility of producing graphene-based barrier films for next generation flexible OLED lighting and display products.
The project combines the skills from each of the partners (University of Cambridge, FlexEnable Ltd, the National Physical Laboratory and the Centre for Process Innovation) and expects to deliver a feasible material and process system. It builds upon significant existing investments by InnovateUK and the EPSRC in this area. The resulting ultra-barrier material can be potentially used in a wide range of novel applications by the lead business partner, FlexEnable.
Drawing on the unique properties of graphene, 'Gravia' will aim to achieve barrier materials that are not only flexible, but also transparent, robust, and very impervious to many molecules. The key challenge will be to develop large-area poly-crystalline graphene films which maximize performance while mitigating process imperfections. In this way, solutions can be produced at scale and economically viable in the future.