Researchers use graphene to detect mid-infrared light at room temperature and convert it into electricity

Researchers from ICFO and Yale have used graphene to efficiently detect mid-infrared light at room temperature and convert it into electricity. Detecting infrared light is of major importance for current applications in spectroscopy, materials processing, chemical, bio-molecular and environmental sensing, security and industry since the mid-infrared spectral region is the range where characteristic vibrational transitions and rotational excitations of many important molecules occur.

Graphene mid-infrared detector imageSchematic of the proposed device, composed of graphene-disk plasmonic resonators connected by quasi-1D graphene nanoribbons

These vibrational and rotational excitations of many molecules, including hazardous and biological molecules, have frequencies that are found in the mid-infrared, which can be monitored by observing the absorption of light in this specific spectral range. However, currently available mid-infrared detectors are very inefficient, except those that can operate at cryogenic temperatures, because they incorporate superconducting elements. Thus, this low temperature limitation is a major drawback in having detectors integrated in devices for consumer products.

Graphene Flagship partners design graphene-based phase modulators for faster mobile technology

Graphene Flagship Partners at the National Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications (CNIT) in Italy, IMEC in Belgium and University of Cambridge in UK have designed and tested a graphene-based phase modulator that reportedly outperforms existing silicon-based ones.

Modern optical data and telecommunications employ phase modulators to increase the amount of data relayed and data rate efficiency, i.e. the speed at which information is relayed. Phase modulators traditionally work by grouping several bits of information into fewer symbols, or packets, reducing the overall size, or spectral width. The smaller the spectral width, the higher the data rate efficiency. However, this efficiency is reaching a maximum with silicon based devices, and so a novel solution is needed to bridge the gap between the increase in demand for data and the efficiency in transmitting it.

MIT team demonstrates a novel method to mass-produce graphene in long rolls

Researchers at MIT have developed a method that might enable the production of long rolls of high-quality graphene. The continuous manufacturing process can reportedly produce five centimeters of high-quality graphene per minute. The longest run was nearly four hours, and it generated around 10 meters of continuous graphene.

MIT's new graphene production method image

MIT is referring to the development as “the first demonstration of an industrial, scalable method for manufacturing high-quality graphene that is tailored for use in membranes that filter a variety of molecules.” These membranes could be used in biological separation or desalination, for example. The researchers drew from the common industrial roll-to-roll approach blended with chemical vapor deposition, a common graphene-fabrication technique.

XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009 XFNANO: Graphene and graphene-like materials since 2009