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New Study Reveals Communications Potential of Graphene


Graphene could be used to provide secure wireless connections, and to improve the efficiency of communication devices.

Credit: AlexanderAlUS

Graphene could be used to provide secure wireless connections and improve the efficiency of communications devices. Scientists at Queen Mary University of London and the Cambridge Graphene Center are touting these potential applications for graphene after discovering the electromagnetic radiation absorption capabilities of the one-atom thick layer of carbon.

The researchers describe graphene as a wonder material with remarkable, record-breaking properties. The group demonstrated how the transparent material increased the absorption of electromagnetic energy by 90 percent at a wide bandwidth. The team placed a stack of layers of graphene supported by a metal plate and the mineral quartz to absorb the signals from a millimeter wave source, which allows for the efficient control of wave propagation in complex environments. "The stacking configuration gives us better control of the interaction between radio waves and the graphene," notes Xidian University's Bian Wu, who is at Queen Mary.

The researchers are now developing prototypes such as wireless networks. "The transparent material could be added as a coating to car windows or buildings to stop radio waves from travelling through the structure," says Queen Mary professor Yang Hao. "This, in turn, could be used to improve secure wireless network environments, for example."

From Queen Mary, University of London
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