Graphene Flagship’s Italian partner CNR-ISOF’s has demonstrated the use of graphene to produce fully flexible near-field communication (NFC) antennas.

The NFC antennas matched the performance of metallic antennas with communication devices such as a mobile phone. The graphene-based antennas are chemically inert, highly resistant to thousands of bending cycles, and can be deposited on different standard polymeric substrates or silk tissues.

Flexible graphene  antenna. Image source: Graphene FlagshipFlexible graphene antenna. Image source: Graphene FlagshipThe Graphene Flagship is a Future and Emerging Technology Flagship by the European Commission.It is tasked with bringing together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society within 10 years.

Researchers tested various designs and substrate materials, such as PET, PVC, and silk. The tested design works well whether flat or curved. The graphene antennas do not require changes in software or hardware of the interacting devices.

Replacing metals with lighter, cheaper, less energy-consuming and more recyclable materials is a key target for modern technology, according to Vincenzo Palermo, Graphene Flagship leader of the Polymer Composites research area. Graphene’s properties make it a good choice for these antennas. Future applications include wearable NFC tags that can interact with smartphones and other devices. Such tags could serve as electronic tickets or payment devices.

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