Researchers at Plymouth University, Cambridge and Tohoku (Japan) Universities and Nokia Technologies have found that electrical signals transmitted at high frequencies through graphene do not lose energy. In fact, the study showed that graphene out-performs any other known material, including superconductors, when carrying high-frequency electrical signals compared to direct current.

This finding may result in wide-ranging technology developments like next generation high-speed transistors, amplifiers, mobile phones, satellite communications and ultra-sensitive biological sensors.

The researchers shared that initial measurements gave conflicting results with theory because graphene’s intrinsic properties are often masked by much larger interfering signals from the supporting substrate, metallic contacts and measurement probes. They added that the final results of the study not only confirm the theoretical properties of graphene but also open up many new applications of the material in high-speed electronics and bio-sensing.

The study was funded by the EU Graphene Flagship, EPSRC, ERC and Nokia Technologies, and the results are now being exploited in developing high-speed and efficient low noise amplifiers, mixers, radiation detectors and novel bio-sensors.