Samsung makes graphene breakthrough for flexible wearable computing

Replacement for silicon is perfect for smart watches

Samsung has made a major breakthrough in its graphene synthesis method, which will lead to new flexible and wearable electronics.

The Korean firm made the discovery at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), which partnered with Sungkyunkwan University. The research was published in Science Magazine and ScienceExpress.

The researchers found a new method to growing large area, single crystal wafer scale graphene, overcoming a previous obstacle of deteriorating electric and mechanical properties through multi-crystal synthesis.

The discovery moves Samsung closer to commercializing the material on a large scale.

So long, silicon

Graphene is widely heralded as the replacement for silicon, the ubiquitous material for semiconductors today. It has 100 times more electron mobility than silicon, and yet it is more durable than steel, with higher heat conductibility.

"This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history," said the laboratory leaders at SAIT's Lab. "We expect this discovery to accelerate the commercialization of graphene, which could unlock the next era of consumer electronic technology."

The wearable computing sector is beginning to boom, with predictions that it will be worth $30.2 billion (£18.1 billion, AU$32.7 billion) by 2018, according to BCC Research. Any improvements in flexibility will give companies like Samsung significant advantages over other rivals in the industry.

Via GigaOM