Graphene Electronics and Optoelectronics
Graphene is one atom thick and is described as being ‘two dimensional’. It has a range of useful characteristics, including extreme strength, but it is also flexible, bendable, wearable and printable. Its excellent electrical and optical properties make it particularly suitable for use in electronics and photonics applications.
High-speed, high-capacity communications
“Optoelectronics considers different approaches for the use of graphene,” said Dr Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre and of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Graphene Technology. “For example, graphene can enable the fabrication of ultrafast and ultra-broad-band lasers, with short pulses, down to less than one thousandth of a billionth of a second”. Graphene also allows ultra-fast and ultra-broad-band modulation and detection of light, with low power consumption, thus facilitating high speed data handling, as required by 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), whose communications networks need to send data at very high speed and with low energy consumption.
The fact that graphene can interact with light of any and every colour and frequency – at the same time – means that a single optic fibre could carry light of different colours simultaneously, each frequency carrying individual packets of data. It expands the possibilities of lasers to every frequency of light, including the non-visible infra-red and ultra-violet frequencies.
Detecting in the dark and seeing through the fog
Things to come
As well as the EPSRC and the European Union, the Cambridge Graphene Centre has industrial funding, with 40 industry partners, including Nokia, Emberion, Haydale, Huawei, Talga, Flexenable, Versarien and many others.