Guangzhou OED Tech develops 'world's first graphene e-paper'

In a major technological break through, Guangzhou OED Technologies in Guangdong province, in collaboration with Chongqing Graphene Tech Co Ldt, has developed a new type of electronic paper thatindustry experts have dubbed ' the world's first graphene e-paper". 

The new e-paper uses graphene and is expected to not only boost the use of the material world wide but help expand the commercial scale of the e-paper industry.

"Compared with traditional e-papers, graphene e-paper is more pliable and has more intensity. Its high light transmittance means optical displays will be much brighter," said ChenYu, chief executive officer of Guangzhou OED Technologies, which sources the material fromits Chongqing-based partner.

E-papers, which are bendable, energy-efficient and thinner than liquid crystal displays, areused in a wide range of product displays like e-book readers, electronic shelf labels, digitalsigns, information billboards, watches and mobile devices.

Graphene can be used to create hard or flexible displays for electronic products such as e-readers and wearable smart devices.

"The graphene e-paper technology has been tested for nearly a year," said Chen.

According to Chen, both companies will start commercial production of graphene e-paperwithin a year.

Graphene, an allotrope of carbon in the form of a two-dimensional, atomic-scale, honey comblattice, is the world's strongest and lightest known material. A single layer of graphene is only 0.335 nanometers thick and can conduct heat and electricity.

The material was first discovered and characterized in 2004 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Noveselov at the University of Manchester. The achievement won them the Nobel Prize inPhysics.

According to a report, global sales of graphene reached more than $9 million by 2014. Mostof the sales were in businesses related to semiconductors, electronics, batteries, energy andcomposites.

In October last year, Guangzhou OED agreed to provide its e-paper technology to Russiansmartphone maker Yota Devices that is developing its next generation of products withdouble-sided displays.

As graphene is derived from graphite, a form of carbon, the cost of production of graphene e-paper will likely be much lower than that of traditional e-papers, which usually use a rare,expensive metal called indium, said Chen.

Guangzhou OED was founded in 2008 with the financial backing of angel investors. It beganmass production of e-paper display panels only at the end of 2011. Commercial production forglobal supplies started in 2014.