Could graphene protect electronics from electromagnetic radiation?

Tuesday, 13 October, 2020

Could graphene protect electronics from electromagnetic radiation?

A collaborative research project involving the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Defence aims to develop a printable ultrathin layer of carbon to shield sensitive electronics from electromagnetic radiation.

Researchers are investigating the use of graphene, a form of carbon that is just a single layer of atoms, as a printable shielding material.

Developments in micro-electronics technologies have led to the design of miniaturised circuits and subsystems for high-speed and high-capacity communication systems that are accurate, reliable, sophisticated and much smaller in size, with lower power consumption.

“These electronics systems are also potentially susceptible to electromagnetic radiation, whereby circuits can be upset, reset or thermally damaged, which can lead to the failure of system functionality,” said Dr Kamal Gupta, from Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group.

Electromagnetic radiation can impact communication systems; for example, a microwave in the kitchen can interfere with a home’s Wi-Fi network. The research team will investigate a locally developed inkjet printing technology for printing a graphene film on electronic circuit boards to prevent electromagnetic radiation from interfering with communication devices. The technology developed during this collaboration will be tested further at DST Labs.

“The flexibility of inkjet printing will allow the design of multiple patterns and the superimposition of different layers to target a wide range of frequencies,” said Professor Nunzio Motta, from the QUT Centre for Material Science.

The project, funded by the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGFT), builds upon previous research by Professor Motta on using graphene to develop supercapacitors, which are devices that can store energy similarly to batteries but can be charged and discharged much faster. The QUT research team includes Professor Motta, Dr Jacob Coetzee, Dr Soniya Yambem, Michael Horn and Fraser Williams.

Image credit: ©órzewiak

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