Color changing “graphene bubble technology” can facilitate flexible, energy efficient displays  

graphene bubbles technology

Researchers have achieved another breakthrough in the field of display manufacturing. Researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherland have discovered “bubbles of graphene” that can inflate and deflate forming convex or concave shapes in accordance with the width of the cavity. Interestingly, during this process, the bubbles of grapheme changed colors as they expanded or contracted. Though, in infancy yet and limited to microscopic level, the discovery could help in development of displays that are more efficient than current LEDs or OLEDs as the display won’t require additional energy to maintain the content of the display. For instance, the E Ink screens can’t be viewed  in dark. That means, the displays would look best in bright sunlight.

Graphene bubble displays

The principal is similar to one used in Qualcomma’s Mirasol technology. Not only energy-efficient, but this discovery can facilitate development of flexible displays as well.

Graphene in principle is transparent; it’s so thin that light doesn’t get reflected. But we were using a double layer of graphene, and that reflects more. Depending on the depth of the cavity you have different interference, and from this you get different colors of light,

says researcher Santiago Cartamil-Bueno.

In this case, the researchers were working with silicon oxide panels covered with grapheme. Cavities are created on silicon panels by creating holes about ten times the width of the human hair. These cavities provide platform for grapheme to stretch like bubbles, contracting depending upon pressure created due to cavities.

However, the scientists claim it to be just initial discovery that supports a theory. The development of larger prototype would require lot of time and as well as funds. However, the researchers expect to prepare a prototype screen to display it at the Mobile World Congress tech conference to be held in March 2017.




Madan has been writing about eco-friendly gadgets and technologies for over 5 years now. He has an inclination for all things green and wonderful. He is a local social activist with a global vision. When not writing, Madan can be seen capturing the best of urban wildlife in his DSLR lens.

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