Korean researchers use graphene to create transparent loudspeakers

Jul 12, 2011 by Bob Yirka report
Korean researchers use graphene to create transparent loudspeakers

(PhysOrg.com) -- In yet another novel use for graphene, researchers from Seoul University have devised a method of creating transparent loudspeakers by printing them onto a special kind of plastic, using an ordinary inkjet printer. Jyongsik Jang and coworkers describe the process in Chemical Communications.

Graphene, is a single layer of graphite, and has been in the news a lot of late, since first being isolated by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov (which won them the Nobel prize in physics last year), due to its unique properties. Some have even suggested it will completely revolutionize the entire technology field. To create from graphene, the researchers used a simple four step process.

The first step as described in the paper, was to synthesize the Graphene Oxide (GO) using a method previously demonstrated by other researchers. Next, the GO was exfoliated in water using sound waves to prevent the inkjet printer from clogging. The result was then flushed with water to remove any . After that, an empty inkjet printer cartridge was thoroughly cleaned and the graphene “ink” inserted into it.

To create the surface on which to print their special ink, a low temperature oxygen plasma treatment was performed on the surface of a piece of Poly (vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF).

Next, the newly created ink was printed onto the treated PVDF (repeatedly on both sides) using a commercially available inkjet printer, creating graphene electrodes. The output was immediately immersed in a hydrazine and ammonia solution (in a vacuum) for 3 minutes. This completed the portion of the speaker construction, the rest of the project consisted mostly of hooking up normal acoustic electronics parts as are found in regular speakers. The resulting speakers work by generating a piezoelectric effect that causes the PVDF to distort, creating .

The research team suggests the speakers could be used as window or computer screen speakers or even perhaps as a means of damping external noise by running anti-noise waves through them.

Because the process uses readily available materials (the flakes used to make the ink were simply purchased from a vendor) and is relatively simple and straightforward, it’s expected that the resultant speakers would be inexpensive as well, though Jang readily concedes their product isn’t ready for prime-time just yet; the sound quality leaves much to be desired, especially the base tones, a problem the team is already hard at work on trying to solve.

Explore further: Research aims to improve rechargeable batteries by focusing on graphene oxide paper

More information: Flexible and transparent graphene films as acoustic actuator electrodes using inkjet printing, Keun-Young Shin, Jin-Yong Hong and Jyongsik Jang, Chem. Commun., 2011, Advance Article, DOI:10.1039/C1CC12913A

Abstract
Flexible and transparent graphene films have been fabricated via inkjet printing and vapor deposition (VDP) methods, and the graphene-based acoustic actuator could be used as an extremely thin and lightweight loudspeaker.

Related Stories

Damaging graphene to create a band gap

Nov 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- "Graphene offers a lot of interesting potential applications for nanoelectronics," Florian Banhart tells PhysOrg.com, "but there is no band gap. This is a well-known problem. Without the band gap, switch ...

Graphene: Singles and the few

Nov 08, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A timely review analyzing the correlation of synthesis methods and physical properties of single-layer and few-layered graphene flakes.

A huge step toward mass production of graphene

Mar 10, 2010

Scientists have leaped over a major hurdle in efforts to begin commercial production of a form of carbon that could rival silicon in its potential for revolutionizing electronics devices ranging from supercomputers ...

A 'huge step' toward mass production of graphene

Jun 09, 2010

Scientists have leaped over a major hurdle in efforts to begin commercial production of a form of carbon that could rival silicon in its potential for revolutionizing electronics devices ranging from supercomputers ...

Recommended for you

The simplest element: Turning hydrogen into 'graphene'

Dec 16, 2014

New work from Carnegie's Ivan Naumov and Russell Hemley delves into the chemistry underlying some surprising recent observations about hydrogen, and reveals remarkable parallels between hydrogen and graphene ...

Future batteries: Lithium-sulfur with a graphene wrapper

Dec 16, 2014

What do you get when you wrap a thin sheet of the "wonder material" graphene around a novel multifunctional sulfur electrode that combines an energy storage unit and electron/ion transfer networks? An extremely ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

h20dr
5 / 5 (1) Jul 12, 2011
If they could make window screen from graphene and apply a similar technology to cancel out sound that would be cool. Then you could sleep with your windows open at night next to freeway or other noisy environment.
nicknoname
not rated yet Jul 18, 2011
title should be:
"Korean researchers use graphene to create transparent loudspeakers, but the sound quality leaves much to be desired."

If only acoustics were as simple as printing out graphene electrodes on inkjet printer.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.