Tunable Graphene Smart Surfaces
Researchers at The University of Manchester create optical devices with a unique range of tunability.
16:19 14 April 2021
Researchers from The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute have created optical devices with a unique range of tunability that can be used on next-generation display devices, dynamic thermal blankets for satellites and multi-spectral adaptive camouflage.
Professor Coskun Kocabas, lead author of the study, said: “We have fabricated a new class of multispectral optical devices with previously unachievable colour-changing ability by merging graphene and battery technology.
“The successful demonstration of graphene-based smart optical surfaces enables potential advances in many scientific and engineering fields.”
“Here we used a graphene-based lithium-ion battery as an optical device,” he added. “By controlling the electron density of the graphene, we are now able control light from visible to microwave wavelengths on the same device.”
The researchers use electro-intercalation to achieve the devices’ tunability. The process involves lithium ions being interposed between sheets of multilayer graphene, offering control over electrical, thermal and magnetic properties.
Nobel laureate Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov was a co-author on the paper and said: “Few-layer graphene offers unprecedented control over its optical properties through charging. Such devices can find their applications in many areas: from adaptive optics to thermal management.”