Single-layer graphene has entered the sensor market after years of intensive research and development (R&D). With novel electronic properties and unprecedented tactility, sensitivity and utility in design, graphene sheets of atomic thickness represent a significant step forward in modern sensing technologies. Yet, there are still barriers to widespread market saturation. These can only be overcome by manufacturers committing to the highest quality processes and standards, alongside developing a holistic mindset towards product development.
In this blog post, Grolltex will explore the state of the graphene sensor industry today and will look ahead to the use of single-layer graphene in sensing elements in the future.
Functionalizing Single-Layer Graphene: A Slow Procress?
Despite emerging on the radar of materials scientists the world over almost a decade ago, graphene still occupies the cutting-edge in manufacturing and industrial spaces. It has remained primarily in the hands of academics who have continued to forecast a bright future for two-dimensional materials (2D) – provided that inherent industrial challenges can be overcome.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) defines a sensor as “a device which provides a usable output in response to a specific measurand.”1 Based on this broad definition, graphene sensors have already been a tremendous success; enabling the fabrication of various types of sensors based on graphene, graphene derivatives, and composite materials. The novel electronic, mechanical, and thermal properties of active graphene sensing materials are responsible for a raft of different transduction mechanisms.
Early successes in graphene sensors have included:
Graphene Sensors in Use Today
The industrial stopping blocks to functionalization of single-layer graphene in sensor technologies are gradually being removed. Large-scale graphene initiatives have attempted to align and offer proposed roadmaps for greater implementation of graphene solutions in a broad range of markets. This has fuelled a positive outlook for the likes of photodetectors, chemical sensors, and biosensors based on single-layer graphene2.
Recently, Grolltex manufactured the smallest graphene strain sensor worldwide, emphasizing the significant strides made in graphene actualization to date. This robust, flexible prototype could effectively perform as well as a silicon microchip when monitoring environmental pressure; with a gauge factor of up to 1300. The unprecedented sensitivity of our single-layer graphene strain sensor exemplifies the enduring potential of 2D materials such as graphene and its derivatives in the sensor market.
For years, Grolltex has devoted significant time and resources into developing the best-in-class chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methodology for 2D materials production, as well as leading edge transfer technologies, in the industry. We recognized the need to generate a high-quality production line with standardized methods and processes, in order to meet the stringent reliability demands of the microscale sensor industry. Our success in this area has helped position Grolltex as one of the top single-layer graphene suppliers in the US.
If you have enjoyed this post about the state of the graphene sensors market and would like to know more, read An Introduction to Graphene Sensors. Otherwise, contact a member of the Grolltex team with any queries or specifications.