Phones printed on clothing, soon

The researchers are investigating a new version of world's first spaser (surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) technology that they will use to do tiny printing.

This technology is made completely of carbon. A spaser is effectively a nanoscale laser or nanolaser, which emits a beam of light through the vibration of free electrons, rather than the space-consuming electromagnetic wave emission process of a laser.

Lead researcher Chanaka Rupasinghe said the new technology would change the face of electronics.
"Other spasers designed to date are made of gold or silver nanoparticles and semiconductor quantum dots while our device would be comprised of a graphene resonator and a carbon nanotube gain element," Rupasinghe said. 

"The use of carbon means our spaser would be more robust and flexible, would operate at high temperatures, and be eco-friendly. Because of these properties, there is the possibility that in the future an extremely thin mobile phone could be printed on clothing," said Rupasinghe.

The devices developed using spaser-based devices can be used as an alternative to current transistor-based devices such as microprocessors, memory, and displays to overcome current miniaturising and bandwidth limitations.

"Graphene and carbon nanotubes can be used in applications where you need strong, lightweight, conducting, and thermally stable materials due to their outstanding mechanical, electrical and optical properties. They have been tested as nanoscale antennas, electric conductors and waveguides," Chanaka said. 

The finding was published in the journal ACS Nano.
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