New graphene laser technique opens door for edible electronics

IMAGE: A brand-new laser method that ‘composes’ graphene onto toasted bread, potatoes and other foods might result in the advancement of edible electronic devices.
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Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Electronic devices, the lifeline of the contemporary world, might quickly become part of our day-to-day diet plan. In a research study appearing in AIR CONDITIONER Nano, researchers report that they have actually established a method to compose graphene patterns onto practically any surface area consisting of food. They state the brand-new method might prepare for the edible electronic devices efficient in tracing the development of foods from farm to table, along with spotting damaging organisms that can trigger stomach distress.

Graphene is made up of a single layer of carbon atoms organized in a honeycomb pattern. It is more powerful than steel, thinner than a human hair and more conductive than copper, making a perfect foundation for the next generation of compact, wise electronic devices. A number of years earlier, James M. Trip and coworkers heated up the surface area of an economical plastic with a laser in air to produce something called laser-induced graphene (LIG). LIG is a foam constructed out of small cross-linked graphene flakes. The procedure can embed or burn patterns that might be utilized as supercapacitors, radio frequency recognition (RFID) antennas or biological sensing units. Based upon these outcomes, the scientists thought that any compound with a sensible quantity of carbon can be developed into graphene. To check this theory, Trip’s group looked for to burn LIG into food, cardboard and a number of other daily, carbon-based products.

The scientists utilized a single laser pulse to transform the surface area layer of the target compound into a chaotic assortment of atoms called amorphous carbon, more frequently referred to as black soot. Then, they carried out several laser passes with a defocused beam to transform the soot into graphene. By defocusing the laser beam, the scientists might accelerate the conversion procedure. And unlike previous LIG procedures, the graphene conversions carried out in these experiments were done at space temperature level without the requirement for a regulated environment box. In general, the procedure showed that LIG can be burned into paper, cardboard, fabric, coal, potatoes, coconuts, toasted bread and other foods. The scientists state these outcomes recommends that food products might become tagged with RFID antennas made from LIG that might assist track where a food stemmed, for how long it’s been kept and how it got to the table. In addition, they recommend that LIG sensing units might be utilized to discover E. coli and other damaging organisms hiding in salads, meats and other foods.


The authors acknowledge financing from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation.

The abstract that accompanies this research study is offered here.

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