Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

Ultra-smooth glassy graphene thin films for flexible transparent circuits

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Science Advances  30 Nov 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 11, e1601574
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601574

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Abstract

Large-area graphene thin films are prized in flexible and transparent devices. We report on a type of glassy graphene that is in an intermediate state between glassy carbon and graphene and that has high crystallinity but curly lattice planes. A polymer-assisted approach is introduced to grow an ultra-smooth (roughness, <0.7 nm) glassy graphene thin film at the inch scale. Owing to the advantages inherited by the glassy graphene thin film from graphene and glassy carbon, the glassy graphene thin film exhibits conductivity, transparency, and flexibility comparable to those of graphene, as well as glassy carbon–like mechanical and chemical stability. Moreover, glassy graphene–based circuits are fabricated using a laser direct writing approach. The circuits are transferred to flexible substrates and are shown to perform reliably. The glassy graphene thin film should stimulate the application of flexible transparent conductive materials in integrated circuits.

Keywords
  • Flexible
  • transparent
  • conducting
  • graphene
  • glassy graphene
  • ultra-smooth
  • laser direct writing

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