University of Sussex team develops a graphene-based sensor with lifesaving potential

Researchers at the University of Sussex have developed a graphene-based sensor with the potential to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases. The sensor is shaped like a flexible rubber tube filled with a solution of water, oil and particles graphene.

University of Sussex's graphene sensor for health monitoring image

the sensors were said to be the most sensitive liquid-based devices to have ever been developed. Utilizing graphene's conductivity, the solution inside the tube conducts electricity. When the tube is stretched by even a tiny amount, the conductivity also changes and this change can be detected, indicating that movement (such as the rising and falling of a breathing person's chest) is occurring.

Graphene membrane to potentially improve efficiency and reduce length of dialysis treatments

Researchers at the University of Florida's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering are developing a graphene-based membrane that aims to improve the process of dialysis treatments and reduce treatment times.

To achieve these goals, the researchers identified two things that needed addressing: the configuration of the membrane, and the material from which it was made. “This membrane is based on simplicity,” the team said. “It is based on something that uses forces of physics, rather than brute force. I made it simple through better understanding and utilizing molecular and nanomaterials self-assembly processes”.

CealTech's marketing and sales manager explains the company's technology and business

Michel Eid (CealTeach)Norway-based CealTech was established in 2012 to commercialize a patented 3D graphene production method. The company recently received its first prototype proprietary industrial-scale Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PE-CVD) graphene production reactor.

We discussed CealTech's technology and business with the company's marketing and sales manager, Michel Eid. Michael holds a Ph.D. in Solid Mechanics from the Ecole Polytechnique in France, and held various roles in engineeing, manufacturing, sustaining, sales, marketing and business development. Michel joined CealTech in January 2017.

Q: Hello Michael. CealTech is commercializing a patented 3D graphene production method. Can you give us some details on the process and the material you are producing?

Our production process is based on David Boyd’s technique as per Nature communications (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7620), ‘Single-step deposition of high-mobility graphene at reduced temperatures’. In summary, the substrate is directly exposed to a low-pressure, microwave hydrogen plasma containing small amounts of methane as carbon source. During this process, vertical grown graphene flakes nucleate and arrange perpendicularly to the surface of the substrate forming a so-called 3D network of non-agglomerated graphene flakes.

A graphene-based flexible terahertz detector developed by Chalmers team

Researchers at Chalmers University have developed a flexible detector for terahertz frequencies (1000 gigahertz) using graphene transistors on plastic substrates. It is said to be the first of its kind, and can extend the use of terahertz technology to applications that require flexible electronics, like wireless sensor networks and wearable technology.

A graphene-based flexible terahertz detector has been developed by researchers at Chalmers image

At room temperature, the translucent and flexible device detects signals in the frequency range 330 to 500 gigahertz. The technique can be used for imaging in the terahertz area (THz camera), but also for identifying different substances (sensor). It may also be of potential benefit in health care, where terahertz waves can be used to detect cancer. Other areas where the detector could be used are imaging sensors for vehicles or for wireless communications.

New approach yields graphene-based sensors that are quieter and more sensitive

A common challenge when attempting to make a graphene-based sensor is the high levels of electronic noise that are caused, reducing its effectiveness. In a recent work, an international team of researchers proposed a graphene-based semiconductor device that reduces electronic noise when its electric charge is neutral (referred to as its neutrality point). The group achieved this neutrality point without the need for bulky magnetic equipment that had previously prevented these approaches from being used in portable sensor applications.

New graphene sensor is made quieter and more sensitive image

In a proof-of-concept device, the researchers used their new sensing scheme to detect HIV-related DNA hybridization at picomolar concentrations. The team fabricated a charge detector out of graphene that can detect very small amounts of charges close to its surface. The sensing principle of the device relies on charge species detection through the field-effect, which brings about a change in electrical conductance of graphene upon adsorption of a charged molecule on the sensor surface.

Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!Versarien - Think you know graphene? Think again!