The birthplace of graphene has just announced that there is a new immediately practical and economic use for the wonder material that has the potential to completely revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT), along with other similar applications.
The graphene research team at the University of Manchester has developed graphene humidity sensors that can be embedded into RFID’s, and, when connected to any kind of wireless network, can provide remote sensing.
Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms, and is known as a two-dimensional material. It is a recent discovery which can be attributed to the same team at the University of Manchester, and the properties it exhibits have some space-age characteristics that will see its use across in an extraordinary amount of products and applications.
While its strength is 200 times that of steel, it is extremely lightweight, nearly transparent, and has an electrical conductivity greater than copper. If it is stacked in layers, scientists can create all kinds of highly customizable, high-performance products.
How it Works for IoT
The discovery that has led to its use as a humidity sensor was first reported in Scientific Reports, which contains a detailed description of the entire process. These graphene humidity sensors can be mass-printed one layer at a time, making it very economical for a manufacturing company, while also being able to be scaled up to meet any level of demand. The resulting device derives its power from the receiver, so there is no need for a power source.
Devices that are part of the Internet of Things must always contain sensors with RFID enablers. With this revolutionary graphene development, the creation of intelligent wireless monitoring with no power requirements is possible, along with monitoring various processes specific to manufacturing, which involve food safety, nuclear waste, health care, moisture detection, and a whole host of additional applications.
The graphene version of sensors used by IoT devices has a huge advantage as information gathering will be much more simplified within a wireless network. There are also advantages with compatibility, the versatility of the sensor allows it to work with WiFi as well as 3G, 4G, and 5G networks.
There have been several new two-dimensional materials developed since graphene was the first discovered over a decade ago. Scientists are confident that graphene can be combined with other two-dimensional substances, that each holds their own set of advantages, to develop a potentially endless amount of new products for the future.
The excitement does not end with this new application here, but leads to the future possibilities of integrations of this technique with other 2-D materials to open up a new horizon of wireless sensing applications.
Dr. Zhirun Hu, The Research Project Leader.
Professor Kostya Novoselev was one of the two scientists honored with a Noble Prize in Physics for the discovery of graphene. He strongly believes that while this discovery constitutes the very first example of printable technology involving 2-D materials that create a new device, there will be many more to follow in quick succession.
These humidity sensors are prepared so easily and are functionally ready for industrial application, making it clear that other developments won’t be far behind. Since the IoT is one of the fastest growing new technologies and is constantly developing; it is poised to become one of the biggest new applications for high-performance graphene products.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Grolltex.
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