The place where graphene was first discovered has now announced that there is a new low-cost, immediately practical use for the super material which could conceivably completely revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as some other related applications. The University of Manchester research team has developed graphene humidity sensors which can be embedded into RFID’s, and which have the capability to provide remote sensing when connected to any kind of wireless network.
Graphene is a two-dimensional substance which was only recently discovered by the same team at the University of Manchester, and its properties have some space-age characteristics that will make it useful in endless numbers of products and applications. It has been tested at 200 times the strength of steel, but is still extraordinarily lightweight, nearly transparent, and has greater conductivity than copper. By stacking layers of graphene, scientists can create extremely high-performance products which can be customized for very specific purposes.
How it Works for IoT
The breakthrough discovery was reported in Scientific Reports, where the whole process was described in detail. Graphene humidity sensors can be mass-printed one layer at a time, and at very low cost for a manufacturing company, with the potential for scaling up to meet any level of demand. The device which is produced has no need for a power source, since it derives its power from the receiver.
At the core of Internet of Things devices, there must always be sensors with RFID enablers. With this breakthrough graphene development, it will be possible to create intelligent wireless monitoring with no power requirements, and to monitor various processes specific to manufacturing, which involve food safety, nuclear waste, health care, moisture detection, and a host of other applications as well.
One of the biggest advantages to the graphene version of sensors used by IoT devices is that information gathering will be much more simplified within a wireless network. It also offers compatibility advantages, since it can work with WiFi as well as 3G, 4G, and 5G networks, so its versatility is unquestionable.
While graphene was the first of the two-dimensional materials to be discovered over a decade ago, several others have been developed since then. Scientists are confident that graphene can be combined with other two-dimensional substances, each with their own set of advantages, to create a virtually limitless number of new products for the future. According to research leader, Dr. Zhirun Hu, “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.”
One of the two scientists who won a Noble Prize in Physics for the discovery of graphene, Professor Kostya Novoselev, has the same kind of confidence in the capabilities of graphene. While this discovery constitutes the very first example of printable technology involving 2-D materials that create a new device, he feels more will be quickly developed. The fact that the humidity sensors are so easily prepared and functionally ready for industrial application, makes it clear that other developments will quickly follow. Since the IoT is one of the fastest growing new technologies in existence, that is likely to be one of the biggest new applications for high-performance graphene products.Tags: breakthroughs in graphene, Graphene, graphene and IoT, graphene and the Internet of Things, graphene breakthroughs, graphene products, graphene technology, internet of things, IoT