Samsung on Friday announced that it has reached a major breakthrough in the mass production of graphene, a material that many have lauded as the biggest thing in electronics since silicon was introduced because of its strength and conductivity properties.
"This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history," Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology said Friday. "We expect this discovery to accelerate the commercialization of graphene, which could unlock the next era of consumer electronic technology." Graphene can be used in flexible products, but is also super strong and lightweight — which Samsung says makes it the ideal material for use in wearable technology and in other places, like flexible screens.
The major breakthrough lies in how graphene is synthesized. Previously, most researchers tried to use multi-crystal synthesis in the effort to create "large-area graphene," but that method actually ruined some of the aspects of that make it such a desirable material including mechanical and electric properties, Samsung said. The new method uses a single crystal method, instead of multi-crystal, that keeps the important electric and mechanical properties of the end product intact.
Samsung isn't the only company researching graphene and potential new uses for the material. Nokia received a $1.3 billion grant in February 2013.