Engineers develop graphene circuits that are flexible and water-resistant

In the future, electronic circuits could be inexpensive and printed into any surface, thanks to a technology that allows graphene to be printed in flexible materials. The procedure, featured in the journal Nanoscience, opens up the possibility of incorporating electronics into a wider range of products.

  • Engineers were able to make functional materials by using ink made from graphene. The material has been touted for its ability to create electronics that are flexible.
  • Graphene flakes, which are the primary ingredients in the ink, are an excellent conductor of electricity and heat. They also improve with annealing methods used in post-print processing. They are also described as “strong, stable, and biocompatible.”
  • A challenge that arose with the process is that the printed graphene flakes do not conduct electricity very well. The team worked around it by eliminating non-conductive binders and joined the flakes to improve their conductivity, which made them usable for electronics and sensors.
  • While the post-print process is heat- and chemical-intensive, the researchers created a rapid-pulse laser process which allows graphene to be utilized without affecting the printing surface.
  • The laser processing technology also has another application — it can turn graphene, a material that absorbs water, into a hydrophobic material when printed as circuits.
  • The paper described that the technology would be used in products like wearable electronics and technology to even biofilm formation.

This technology, researchers said, would lend itself to a variety of uses: it can be used for electronics, textiles, to even medicine.

Journal Reference:

Das SR, Srinivasan S, Stromberg LR, He Q, Garland N, Straszheim WE, Ajayan PM, Balasubramanian G, Claussen JC. SUPERHYDROPHOBIC INKJET PRINTED FLEXIBLE GRAPHENE CIRCUITS VIA DIRECT-PULSED LASER WRITING. Nanoscale. 2017;9(48):19058–19065. DOI:

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