"We have managed to combine low cost, transparency and flexibility in our new electrode," says Professor Helge Weman, CTO and co-founder of CrayoNano.The patented method of growing semiconductor nanowires on atomically thin graphene uses MBE (Molecular Beam Epitaxy) to grow the nanowires.
"This is a template for a new production method for semiconductor devices," says Weman, "we expect solar cells and LEDs to be first in line when future applications are planned."
"Companies like IBM and Samsung are driving this development in the search for a replacement for silicon in electronics as well as for new applications, such as flexible touch screens for mobile phones. Well, they need not wait any more," says Weman, "our invention fits perfectly with the production machinery they already have. We make it easy for them to upgrade consumer electronics to a level where design has no limits."
One possible device enabled by the technology is a nanowire solar cell. This type of solar cell has the potential to be efficient, cheap and flexible at the same time.
The invention also makes it possible self-powered nanomachines and advanced 3D integrated circuits built on graphene and semiconductor nanowires, enabling smaller and more efficient electronics.
Weman envisions flexible self-powered consumer electronics integrated into everything from clothes to notepads, and of course traditional cell phones, tablets and exercise accessories.
"Semiconductors grown on graphene could become the basis for new types of device systems, and could transform the semiconductor industry by introducing graphene as a preferred substrate for many applications," he says.