Graphene as an Interactive Interface


Etching onto Kapton tape to form Graphene sensor electrodes for new circuitry designs. Series of experiments to test resistancy and application. Used alongside conductive thread to create a flexible conductive surface for new forms of interactive interfaces. Also use of addressable LED's, sensors such as accelerometers to add user feedback and increase playfulness.

In collaboration and led by Medhir Bhargava

The images below highlight the properties of Graphene, as a way to conduct heat and electricity and it's stretchable capabilities.

Step 1: Experimentation

Here we primarly focused with the types of materials we can etch onto effectively with Kapton Tape. Medhir focused here, on the calibration of the laser to produce successful swatches of graphene.

We used the following materials: Silicon, Polypropolene, Nylon, Acrylic, Cotton and other polyester mixtures. Fabric wise, we found Nylon was the best material for a clothing range, along with Silicon, Polypropolene, Acrylic.

Step 2: Basic Circuitry

Here we began with a single LED once checking how conductivity of the graphene is. We were able to power a single LED, then began to use the Adafruit Flora, which allows addressable LED's. We found that in order to join small samples of the graphene coated material paper clips sufficed. Initially we attempted to bring together the circuit using conductive thread, but we found the thread was of poor conductivity. We also found that any stitching of the graphene, caused it to break and reduce conductivity, hence using paper clips allowed a simple connection.

Secondly, once completing a single simple circuit, we begun increasing the circuitry length. This was mainly to test the reduction of conductivity as we increase the level of graphene. We are now in the process of adding further LED's.

Step 3: Scaling Up

This step is currently a work in progress, where we are looking at the designs of the final circuit. An initial sketch can be seen on the right, where its a very 2D circular design. Alternatively we are considering the natural falling of the fabric, as pictured in the image in step 2.