Research shows electricity flows through graphene at high frequencies without energy loss

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A study by researchers at Plymouth University claims to have shown that electrical signals transmitted at high frequencies lose none of their energy when passed through graphene.

The study was led by Dr Shakil Awan, a lecturer in the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics at Plymouth University, alongside colleagues from Cambridge and Tohoku (Japan) Universities and Nokia Technologies.

Dr Awan said: "Our results for the first time not only confirm the theoretical properties of graphene but also open up many new applications of the material in high-speed electronics and bio-sensing."

Since graphene lacks band-gap, the academics say it could be suitable for applications ranging from next generation high-speed transistors and amplifiers for mobile phones and satellite communications to ultra-sensitive biological sensors.

The latter is the focus of a three-year £1million project funded by the EPSRC on developing highly-sensitive graphene bio-sensors for early detection of dementia. Graphene is suited for this as its room temperature thermal noise is smaller than any other known material, enabling the sensitive detection of tiny numbers of antibody-antigen interactions to indicate the likelihood of a patient to develop dementia in the future.