The magazine MAQ September 2018 MAQ Magazine November 2018 - Page 316

Graphene nano-ribbons allow the sensors an unprecedented sensitivity

A team of engineers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has realized a new form of graphene nano ribbon, with a 2-D honeycomb made of carbon atoms, which allows unprecedented sensitivity for particular types of sensors.

This new film has been tested on a gas detector and the latter, surprisingly, responded with a level of sensitivity 100 times greater than the materials used previously, also those based on carbon.

The research, published in Nature Communications, shows that gas molecules can be more easily detected by the sensor because they change the electrical resistance of the graphene nano-tape is conspicuous.

Moreover different gases emit different signatures as they go to alter the electrical resistance.

According to Alexander Sinitskii, associate professor of chemistry at Nebraska, various sensors mounted on a single chip, they were able to distinguish among more molecules that boast an almost similar chemical nature.

The same scientist then made the example of the distinction between methanol and ethanol.

Graphene has the potential to improve electronics, solar cells and other devices. UNL chemist Alexander Sinitskii is testing this promising nanomaterial with a $538,500 National Science Foundation CAREER award.