Graphene is one of those material science breakthroughs that's so frequently described as a harbinger of technological revolution, it almost feels hackneyed. Almost, until an update like this rolls around: Scientists at Cambridge today demonstrated the first graphene-based flexible display.
"This is a significant step forward to enable fully wearable and flexible devices," said the Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre, Professor Andrea Ferrari, in a statement made today. Ferrari was describing the impact of the prototype device, which is compared to a screen of your average e-reader—with the glass screen replaced with a plastic one. The biggest difference, of course, is what's behind that plastic: Instead of the metal electrodes you'd find on an e-reader, there are graphene electrodes:
According to the CGC, the graphene display clocks in at a perfectly respectable 150 pixels per inch, and the centre says it's working on full-colour versions. It's the first flexible graphene display we've seen demonstrated, and in the demo video, we see the thin plane of plastic being bent and then cycling through the pages of a 1950s-style "recipe book" explaining how to make a graphene display.
Though still very rough, it's interesting to see how the much-hyped technology actually looks in practice. Maybe those folding phones aren't quite as far away as we assumed. [Cambridge Graphene Centre]