Researchers at University of Nottingham’s Centre for Additive Manufacturing have discovered a method that could see inkjet-printed graphene replacing single-layer graphene in 2D metal semiconductors, according to 3D Printing Industry.
The discovery could be a major breakthrough in the field of 3D printing electronic devices using graphene.
“By linking together fundamental concepts in quantum physics with state-of-the-art-engineering, we have shown how complex devices for controlling electricity and light can be made by printing layers of material that are just a few atoms thick but centimeters across,” Mark Fromhold, paper co-author and head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nottingham told 3D Printing Industry.
As part of the team’s study, they 3D printed layers of ink containing graphene flakes, looking to induce a phenomenon called “inter-flake quantum tunneling” — in which the layers’ electrical properties are strongly influenced by the presence of graphene flakes.
The team claims it’s the first time inkjet-printed graphene has been used as a viable replacement for single-layer graphene as a contact material for 2D metal chalcogenides, 3D Printing Industry reports. Their findings could pave the way for new research into the use of 3D printed 2D electronics in everything from photon detectors, sensors, and capacitors for stretchable or wearable electronics.