Researchers at The University of Manchester have fabricated highly sensitive miniaturized pressure sensors using graphene membranes.
The team reported that the new sensor was made possible by developing a way to effectively float a graphene membrane mere nanometers above a silicon chip. When pressure moves this membrane closer to the surface of the chip, the resulting change in capacitance is measured to read out the pressure change. By fabricating thousands of such floating membranes next to each other, a device can be made of exceptionally high sensitivity to pressure changes.
The team explained that “despite its amazing strength, a single atomic layer thin graphene membrane is impossible to grow and handle without causing cracks and pin-holes, which would lead to the failure of the device… In order to overcome this, we use this graphene membrane in conjunction with a very thin polymer support layer, which allows us to produce thousands of floating graphene membranes closely packed into a small area, resulting in this highest performance pressure sensor.”
The full story is available below.