back to article Graphene circuits from an inkjet printer

Long gone are the days when the inkjet printer was the consumable that people bought for school projects and family photographs: a group of researchers from Cambridge University has added graphene-based transistors to the list of things that you can take from the output tray. The researchers, led by Andrea Ferrari of the …

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Coat

Oh brilliant.

Now they'll finally be able to justify the ridiculously high price of replacement (graphene) ink cartridges.

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Silver badge

Just use

a pencil !

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Also...

...just as with commercial ink jets, more ink will probably be expended in "cleaning the nozzles" than in actually printing something.

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Silver badge

Yes

They will say this is what they do with the current ink pigments, hence the current high cost :(

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Well quite

I understand you're making a joke, but this is how graphene was discovered. What are the limits on just drawing graphene circuits with pencils, and why didn't its amazing electrical effects ever get discovered before? (ISTR making a resistor from a pencil drawing way back ...)

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Ru
Boffin

"why didn't its amazing electrical effects ever get discovered before?"

Nanotechnology is hard.

Pencils are great at smearing down a disorderd streak of graphite particles and binding material; this bears a similar relationship to graphene circuitry as sand does to silicon-based semiconductors.

Graphene seems to have been known about since the 60s. What sort of 'before' were you thinking of?

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Happy

New Business Idea

Checklist:

One 3D printer

3 Graphene print cartridges

1 tin of white paint

I'll be up and running printing counterfeit iPhones by the end of the year. Orders anyone?

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Joke

Dry your hands..

So, now we'll have PCBs that can be smudged with a damp finger?

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Anonymous Coward

erm..

"The solvent settled on is NMP (N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone)" not water...

And don't divers use pencils because they are waterproof?

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Boffin

Missing something...

Don't transistors traditionally have a gate?

Either I am missing something, or this transistor is.

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Anonymous Coward

Gate

Yes I wondered that too. But then again, if it's a field effect transistor the gate would be near but isolated from the channel, so perhaps it's been left out for clarity. As it is drawn it would appear to be a diode.

Wouldn't fancy the cost of replacing the gold/chromium cartridge in that thing either.

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It looks more like a resistor than a transistor.

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Thumb Up

letters and/or digits.

I know a few of these printable electronics bods at Cambridge - if anyone can crack it, they can.

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Boffin

Not sure NMP is a great choice of solvent

It might work in the lab, but the MSDS for this compound lists it as:

R36 Irritating to eyes.

R37 Irritating to respiratory system.

R38 Irritating to skin.

R61 May cause harm to the unborn child.

and gives it an occupational exposure limit of 25ppm.

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Silver badge

NMP

Used extensively in the fine chemical industry - it's a high-boiling point dipolar aprotic solvent meaning it has a high dipole that helps to solubilize materials but isn't capable of ionizing under 'reasonable' conditions.

Reading the data sheet is a bit like looking up your symptoms in a medical dictionary - scary

With correct handling, ventilation and recycling it's no problem. Doesn't mean that you should be using it in a 'normal' inkjet printer though

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Ru
Unhappy

The problem with toxic chemicals

is that they're often extremely useful.

I don't imagine we'll get a benign replacement any time soon.

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