Monday, February 3, 2014

Draw Your Own Graphene Circuits

A strain gauge made of pencil and paper is deformed to compress the graphene network.

The distinct electronic properties of carbon when layered in graphene sheets have always intriguied me. What kind of electronic properties lurk in what is mistakenly called pencil "lead"? And now it turns out that you can unleash some of these properties ... by drawing with a pencil on paper.

In this story the implications of this are explored. Bending even a simple circuit changes how it conducts electricity, and vapors affect the resistance of the pencil circuit lines. Because of this, you can actually draw your own circuit and make a vapor sensor from pencil lines.

So can this be used in the teaching lab? Or could the answer to a test question be drawn on a piece of paper -- and then checked by attaching electrodes to each end?

No comments: