This could lead the way to a range of new components, including better touchscreens and much more efficient solar cells.
The electrodes attached to the OLED (organic light-emitting display) have an area of around 2 cm by 1 cm (1/2 in by 1/4 in), and were created using a process of chemical vapor deposition (CVD), where methane and hydrogen are pumped into a vacuum chamber where a copper plate has been heated to 800° C (1,472° F).
A chemical reaction occurs between the two gases and, as the methane dissolves into the copper, it forms graphene atoms on the surface. Once the layer is sufficiently formed, the whole set up is allowed to cool, a protective polymer sheet is applied, and the copper is then chemically etched away to reveal a single-atom layer of pure graphene.
"This was a real breakthrough in research and integration of extremely demanding materials," said Dr. Beatrice Beyer, project leader at the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP.