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Graphene-based Nanoantennas Could Allow WLANs of Nanodevices 45

Posted by timothy
from the psst-pass-it-on dept.
Freshly Exhumed writes "With the onslaught of graphene experimentation, especially in computing and RF, news from IEEE Spectrum comes that researchers at Georgia Tech have computer-modeled nanoantennas made from graphene that could provide wireless network communications between nanoscopic devices. "We are exploiting the peculiar propagation of electrons in graphene to make a very small antenna that can radiate at much lower frequencies than classical metallic antennas of the same size," said Ian Akyildiz, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in a press release. "We believe that this is just the beginning of a new networking and communications paradigm based on the use of graphene.""
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Graphene-based Nanoantennas Could Allow WLANs of Nanodevices

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  • A use I could think of is having these embedded into thread, and then stitched into regular clothing. I'd imagine our bodies generate enough residual energy to power it and they would act as a cumulative network that could broadcast your vitals to a external device.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or you could order bikinis to suddenly dissolve.

    • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Monday December 16, 2013 @03:51AM (#45701595) Homepage

      Vitals are so last millenium. Why not just build a new neural scaffold out of them, connect it to your brain, then by the time your organic parts are dead the non-organic systems will have expanded to contain redundant coppies of the old wetware architecture.

      When you watched Star Trek I bet you wanted to be the Captain, or Bones, or Spock, etc. It never occurred to you that it would be far more enjoyable to be the ship.

      • by Rande (255599)

        Not in the Star Trek universe, no. The computer is never allowed to make suggestions even though it almost always knows the answer if the crew just asks.
        And the Self-Destruct....just no.
        I think I'd rather go for being a Replicator in the Stargate universe....just a little smarter and realizing that as a machine I could just go colonize some planets that the carbon based lifeforms don't care about.

      • by Meyaht (2729603)

        When you watched Star Trek I bet you wanted to be the Captain, or Bones, or Spock, etc. It never occurred to you that it would be far more enjoyable to be the ship.

        I couldn't imagine having that many people in me at once...

  • "We are exploiting the peculiar propagation of electrons in graphene to make a very small antenna that can radiate at much lower frequencies than classical metallic antennas of the same size," said Ian Akyildiz, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in a funding drive.

    FTFY.

  • Can you imagine trying to rig up a patch panel for these nano devices?

  • The graphic at the top of the article indicates 10-100 nm. This is out in the UV, and would make a quite horrible wireless system. The article mentions terahertz, which would be 10-100 um. Still only useable over short distances, but much more likely.
    • Graphic looks right (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The 10-100 nm dimension is transverse to the surface plasmon; the length of antenna is shown as 1 m. In the same way as the width of the wire you build your radio aerial isn't really relevant to reception but the length is, the 10-100 nm dimension isn't particularly relevant to this little device's behaviour.

      There's still a problem of length scales here in that the 0.1-10 THz claimed has much longer wavelengths than this 1 m device -- I don't know what the refractive index (or more strictly, the dielectric)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The relevant xkcd [xkcd.com]

  • Billions of nanobots spread in the air, capable of audio/video streaming... now that would be "1984" on steroids. Think of NSA being able to look anywhere at any time, live.
  • I've seen many types of graphene antennas built and tested over the last several years.

    The resistivity of very high quality graphene is about 1000 ohms per square. Any advantage you may get from graphene is offset by huge impedance losses. You're looking at 10 to 100 kOhm resistance for the antennas described in the article. That's simply not going to work in a realistic system, particularly one based around an electrically small antenna.

  • The physics of antennas is pretty darn basic electrodynamics. You need a quarter to half a wavelength to make an efficient antenna. Scientists and engineers have tried for well over a century to overcome that limitation, with not much success. It's pretty basic-- if you want to set up an EM field, you need to be able to have charges separated by a goodly amount relative to the wavelength. The emitting material is irrelevant, in fact you need a really good conductor as you make the antenna shorter, as i

    • Gaphene not only does not seem to have any advantage, it's high resistance is a big disadvantage. Sounds super highly fishy.

      Err, what?! Graphene is an extremely good conductor, not a bad one.

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