A group of researchers supported by Samsung Electronics 005930.SE +1.23%said Friday that they’ve developed a technique for synthesizing graphene– an ultra-thin material of unusual strength and flexibility — that brings commercialization a step closer.

Graphene is an attractive material because of its potential use as a bendable, ultrathin screen for wearable devices, offering flexibility and strength in a lightweight package. Samsung has released a number of new products in the past year with curved or bendable displays, including an array of widescreen televisions, smartphones and smartwatches.  Samsung executives have described the current products as a foreshadowing of a new era of wearable and bendable devices. Graphene is the thinnest material known, but is also extremely good at conducting electricity and heat.

The findings, which allow a single crystal of graphene to retain its electrical and mechanical properties across a larger area, were published in the April 4 issue of the academic journal Science.  Previously, graphene could only be made large enough for commercial use by bringing together separate graphene crystals that would impair electrical conductivity.

 Samsung said graphene will play a major role in the company’s transition to wearable and other next-generation electronic devices.

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