Researchers from the University of Manchester, in collaboration with U.K.-based BGT Materials, have printed a radio frequency antenna using compressed graphene ink.

The printed antenna, which measures 14 centimeters long and 3.5 millimeters wide, can be used in RFID tags and wireless sensors, and also has the potential to be mass-produced at a low cost.

According to Zhirun Hu, a researcher in the School of Electrical and EleThe printed antenna, which measures 14 centimeters long and 3.5 millimeters wide, can be used in RFID tags and wireless sensors. Source: University of ManchesterThe printed antenna, which measures 14 centimeters long and 3.5 millimeters wide, can be used in RFID tags and wireless sensors. Source: University of Manchesterctronic Engineering at the University of Manchester, this development shows that printable graphene is ready for commercial use in low-cost radio frequency applications.

The ink is made by mixing graphene flakes with a solvent—and sometimes a binder such as ethyl cellulose—that helps the ink stick. However, the research team found a way to increase the conductivity of graphene ink without using a binder; first by printing and drying the ink, then by compressing it with a roller.

By compressing the ink, it was 50 times more conductive and resulted in a “graphene laminate”, which was almost two times more conductive than previous graphene ink made with a binder.

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