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Advances In Protective Packaging
Advances In Protective Packaging
Advances in packaging using graphene and plastic films may extend product life considerably for a range or products.
Technology Briefing

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These days, packaging is everywhere, sometimes even on individual fruits or vegetables. Wrapping products from food to electronics in plastic films protects them from dust, bacteria and to some extent water.

But to extend the lifetime of a moisture-sensitive organic light-emitting diode for more than a year, for example, the packaging must restrict water vapor from entering at a rate of less than one one-millionth of a gram per square meter per day. Today's typical packaging is far from achieving that goal. And this permeability to moisture can limit the lifespan of a product.

To better protect goods such as electronics and medicines, scientists have developed a new kind of packaging that incorporates a single layer of graphene, which reduces by a million-fold how much water can get through.

As they recently explained in the journal ACS Nano, the researchers synthesized a single layer of graphene by chemical vapor deposition and using a simple and scalable process, transferred the graphene to a polymer film. Water vapor permeated the material at the target rate of less than one one-millionth of a gram per square meter per day.

An accelerated aging test showed that an organic photovoltaic device wrapped in the graphene-infused film would have a lifetime of more than one year compared to less than thirty minutes if packaged in the polymer without the graphene.
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