Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Graphene-based nano-antennas may enable networks of tiny machines

Schematic shows how surface plasmon polariton (SPP) waves would be formed on the surface of tiny antennas fabricated from graphene. The antennas would be about one micron long and 10 to 100 nanometers wide.

Credit: Courtesy Ian Akyildiz and Josep Jornet
Schematic shows how surface plasmon polariton (SPP) waves would be formed on the surface of tiny antennas fabricated from graphene. The antennas would be about one micron long and 10 to 100 nanometers wide.

Credit: Courtesy Ian Akyildiz and Josep Jornet

Abstract:
Networks of nanometer-scale machines offer exciting potential applications in medicine, industry, environmental protection and defense, but until now there's been one very small problem: the limited capability of nanoscale antennas fabricated from traditional metallic components.

Graphene-based nano-antennas may enable networks of tiny machines

Atlanta, GA | Posted on December 13th, 2013

With antennas made from conventional materials like copper, communication between low-power nanomachines would be virtually impossible. But by taking advantage of the unique electronic properties of the material known as graphene, researchers now believe they're on track to connect devices powered by small amounts of scavenged energy.

Based on a honeycomb network of carbon atoms, graphene could generate a type of electronic surface wave that would allow antennas just one micron long and 10 to 100 nanometers wide to do the work of much larger antennas. While operating graphene nano-antennas have yet to be demonstrated, the researchers say their modeling and simulations show that nano-networks using the new approach are feasible with the alternative material.

"We are exploiting the peculiar propagation of electrons in graphene to make a very small antenna that can radiate at much lower frequencies than classical metallic antennas of the same size," said Ian Akyildiz, a Ken Byers Chair professor in Telecommunications in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "We believe that this is just the beginning of a new networking and communications paradigm based on the use of graphene."

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the research is scheduled to be reported in the journal IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications (IEEE JSAC). In addition to the nanoscale antennas, the researchers are also working on graphene-based nanoscale transceivers and the transmission protocols that would be necessary for communication between nanomachines.

The communications challenge is that at the micron scale, metallic antennas would have to operate at frequencies of hundreds of terahertz. While those frequencies might offer advantages in communication speed, their range would be limited by propagation losses to just a few micrometers. And they'd require lots of power - more power than nanomachines are likely to have.

Akyildiz has studied nanonetworks since the late 1990s, and had concluded that traditional electromagnetic communication between these machines might not be possible. But then he and his Ph.D. student, Josep Jornet - who graduated in August 2013 and is now an assistant professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo - began reading about the amazing properties of graphene. They were especially interested in how electrons behave in single-layer sheets of the material.

"When electrons in graphene are excited by an incoming electromagnetic wave, for instance, they start moving back and forth," explained Akyildiz. "Because of the unique properties of the graphene, this global oscillation of electrical charge results in a confined electromagnetic wave on top of the graphene layer."

Known technically as a surface plasmon polariton (SPP) wave, the effect will allow the nano-antennas to operate at the low end of the terahertz frequency range, between 0.1 and 10 terahertz - instead of at 150 terahertz required by traditional copper antennas at nanoscale sizes. For transmitting, the SPP waves can be created by injecting electrons into the dielectric layer beneath the graphene sheet.

Materials such as gold, silver and other noble metals also can support the propagation of SPP waves, but only at much higher frequencies than graphene. Conventional materials such as copper don't support the waves.

By allowing electromagnetic propagation at lower terahertz frequencies, the SPP waves require less power - putting them within range of what might be feasible for nanomachines operated by energy harvesting technology pioneered by Zhong Lin Wang, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Materials Science and Engineering.

"With this antenna, we can cut the frequency by two orders of magnitude and cut the power needs by four orders of magnitude," said Jornet. "Using this antenna, we believe the energy-harvesting techniques developed by Dr. Wang would give us enough power to create a communications link between nanomachines."

The nanomachines in the network that Akyildiz and Jornet envision would include several integrated components. In addition to the energy-harvesting nanogenerators, there would be nanoscale sensing, processing and memory, technologies that are under development by other groups. The nanoscale antenna and transceiver work being done at Georgia Tech would allow the devices to communicate the information they sense and process to the outside world.

"Each one of these components would have a nanoscale measurement, but in total we would have a machine measuring a few micrometers," said Jornet. "There would be lots of tradeoffs in energy use and size."

Beyond giving nanomachines the ability to communicate, hundreds or thousands of graphene antenna-transceiver sets might be combined to help full-size cellular phones and Internet-connected laptops communicate faster.

"The terahertz band can boost current data rates in wireless networks by more than two orders of magnitude," Akyildiz noted. "The data rates in current cellular systems are up to one gigabit-per-second in LTE advanced networks or 10 gigabits-per-second in the so-called millimeter wave or 60 gigahertz systems. We expect data rates on the order of terabits-per-second in the terahertz band."

The unique properties of graphene, Akyildiz says, are critical to this antenna - and other future electronic devices.

"Graphene is a very powerful nanomaterial that will dominate our lives in the next half-century," he said. "The European community will be supporting a very large consortium involving many universities and companies with an investment of one billion euros to conduct research into this material."

The researchers have so far evaluated numerous nano-antenna designs using modeling and simulation techniques in their laboratory. The next step will be to actually fabricate a graphene nano-antenna and operate it using a transceiver also based on graphene.

"Our project shows that the concept of graphene-based nano-antennas is feasible, especially when taking into account very accurate models of electron transport in graphene," said Akyildiz. "Many challenges remain open, but this is a first step toward creating advanced nanomachines with many applications in the biomedical, environmental, industrial and military fields."

###

The research described here was supported by the National Science Foundation under award number CCF-1349828. Any opinions or conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the NSF.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
John Toon

404-894-6986

Copyright © Georgia Institute of Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Kate Ross as winner of the 2018 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize for North and South America February 20th, 2018

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future: They have probably succeeded in creating a topological superconductor February 19th, 2018

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers February 15th, 2018

Wireless/telecommunications/RF/Antennas/Microwaves

European & Korean Project To Demo World’s First 5G Platform During Winter Games February 15th, 2018

Vanadium dioxyde: A revolutionary material for tomorrow's electronics: Phase-chance switch can now be performed at higher temperatures February 5th, 2018

Round-the-clock power from smart bowties February 5th, 2018

Graphene/ Graphite

Graphene on toast, anyone? Rice University scientists create patterned graphene onto food, paper, cloth, cardboard February 13th, 2018

A new radiation detector made from graphene: A new bolometer exploits the thermoelectric properties of graphene February 6th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARO-HBV for Treatment of Hepatitis B February 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

Rutgers-Led Innovation Could Spur Faster, Cheaper, Nano-Based Manufacturing: Scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of thin film devices February 14th, 2018

Molecular Machines

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

Going swimmingly: Biotemplates breakthrough paves way for cheaper nanobots: By using bacterial flagella as a template for silica, researchers have demonstrated an easier way to make propulsion systems for nanoscale swimming robots November 30th, 2017

How to draw electricity from the bloodstream: A one-dimensional fluidic nanogenerator with a high power-conversion efficiency September 11th, 2017

Molecular Nanotechnology

Moving nanoparticles using light and magnetic fields January 25th, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

Going swimmingly: Biotemplates breakthrough paves way for cheaper nanobots: By using bacterial flagella as a template for silica, researchers have demonstrated an easier way to make propulsion systems for nanoscale swimming robots November 30th, 2017

Sensors

Graphene on toast, anyone? Rice University scientists create patterned graphene onto food, paper, cloth, cardboard February 13th, 2018

Leti Chief Scientist Barbara De Salvo Will Help Kick Off ISSCC 2018 with Opening-Day Keynote: In Addition, Leti Scientists Will Present and Demo New Technology for Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting February 8th, 2018

Engineers develop flexible, water-repellent graphene circuits for washable electronics January 24th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Discoveries

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future: They have probably succeeded in creating a topological superconductor February 19th, 2018

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers February 15th, 2018

Announcements

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Kate Ross as winner of the 2018 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize for North and South America February 20th, 2018

Computers aid discovery of new, inexpensive material to make LEDs with high color quality February 20th, 2018

Unconventional superconductor may be used to create quantum computers of the future: They have probably succeeded in creating a topological superconductor February 19th, 2018

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Military

Graphene on toast, anyone? Rice University scientists create patterned graphene onto food, paper, cloth, cardboard February 13th, 2018

Silk fibers could be high-tech ‘natural metamaterials’ January 31st, 2018

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Environment

Ultra-efficient removal of carbon monoxide using gold nanoparticles on a molecular support: New method and mechanism for state-of-the-art gas purification February 9th, 2018

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation January 23rd, 2018

Rice U.'s one-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air: NSF-funded NEWT Center aims for catalytic converter for nitrate-polluted water January 5th, 2018

'Quantum material' has shark-like ability to detect small electrical signals December 20th, 2017

Industrial

Ultra-efficient removal of carbon monoxide using gold nanoparticles on a molecular support: New method and mechanism for state-of-the-art gas purification February 9th, 2018

A simple new approach to plastic solar cells: Osaka University researchers intelligently design new highly efficient organic solar cells based on amorphous electronic materials with potential for easy printing January 28th, 2018

Nature paper by Schlumberger researchers used photothermal based nanoscale IR spectroscopy to analyze heterogeneous process of petroleum generation January 23rd, 2018

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation January 23rd, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project