Graphene outperforms other materials at high frequencies, says study

Technology News |
By Rich Pell

The research has shown that graphene out-performs any other known material, including superconductors, when carrying high-frequency electrical signals compared to direct current, essentially transmitting signals without any additional energy loss.

The study was led by Dr Shakil Awan, a Lecturer in the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics at Plymouth University, alongside colleagues from Cambridge and Tohoku (Japan) Universities and Nokia Technologies (Cambridge, UK).

Dr Shakil Awan, Lecturer in the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics and the principal investigator in the study, said: “An accurate understanding of the electromagnetic properties of graphene over a broad range of frequencies (from direct current to over 10 GHz) has been an important quest for several groups around the world. 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. Our results for the first time 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, published in the IOP 2D Materials Journal, 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.

Dr Alan Colli, from Nokia Technologies, said: “Graphene devices for next generation wireless technologies (up to and beyond 10 GHz) are progressing fast. Our study has unlocked the fundamental behaviour of graphene at high frequencies, which will be essential in the design and evaluation of future graphene-based wireless devices. This has only been made possible because of the multi-discipline expertise of the different groups based at Nokia, and in Plymouth, Cambridge and Tohoku universities.”

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