Graphene’s Communications Potential Revealed By New Research

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Graphene is good for more than just solar cells, water filtration, ultra-thin display screens, integrated circuits, space elevators, ethanol distillation, single-molecule gas detection, desalination, next-gen batteries, thermal management, DNA sequencing, etc… (lol), according to new research from Queen Mary University of London and the Cambridge Graphene Centre, it also shows great potential for use in the field of communications.

Specifically, the new work has shown that graphene could be used to improve the operating efficiency of communication devices, and also, interestingly, to improve secure wireless network environments — owing to the material’s newly described/discovered ability to absorb electromagnetic radiation (including across the radio frequency spectrum).

Graphene - Credit: nobeatsofierce/Shutterstock.


The research shows that the vaunted material can increase “the absorption of electromagnetic energy by 90% at a wide bandwidth.”

“The technological potential of graphene is well-known. This paper demonstrates one example of how that potential can translate into a practical application,” stated Yang Hao, co-author of the study and Professor of Antennas and Electromagnetics at Queen Mary’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.

“The transparent material could be added as a coating to car windows or buildings to stop radio waves from travelling through the structure. This, in turn, could be used to improve secure wireless network environments, for example.”

“The researchers placed a stack of layers of graphene supported by a metal plate and the mineral quartz to absorb the signals from a millimetre wave source, which allows the efficient control of wave propagation in complex environments.”

Study co-author, Bian Wu, added: “The stacking configuration gives us better control of the interaction between radio waves and the graphene.”

The researchers are now currently working to develop various prototypes.

The new research was just published in the journal Scientific Report.

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Image Credit:3D model of graphene sheet via Shutterstock.


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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