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

By QIU QUANLIN (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-24 08:03

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

Chen Yu (right), CEO of Guangzhou OED Technologies, shows a price tag made of graphene e-paper.CHINA DAILY

In a major technological breakthrough, Guangzhou OED Technologies in Guangdong province, in collaboration with Chongqing Graphene Tech Co Ltd, has developed a new type of electronic paper that industry 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 worldwide 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 Chen Yu, chief executive officer of Guangzhou OED Technologies, which sources the material from its Chongqing-based partner.

E-papers, which are bendable, energy-efficient and thinner than liquid crystal displays, are used in a wide range of product displays like e-book readers, electronic shelf labels, digital signs, 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-paper within a year.

Graphene, an allotrope of carbon in the form of a two-dimensional, atomic-scale, honey-comb lattice, 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 in Physics.

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

In October last year, Guangzhou OED agreed to provide its e-paper technology to Russian smartphone maker Yota Devices that is developing its next generation of products with double-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 began mass production of e-paper display panels only at the end of 2011. Commercial production for global supplies started in 2014.


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