Metallic Nanoislands on Graphene as Highly Sensitive Transducers of Mechanical, Biological, and Optical Signals
journal contributionposted on 2016-01-18, 20:27 authored by Aliaksandr V. Zaretski, Samuel E. Root, Alex Savchenko, Elena Molokanova, Adam D. Printz, Liban Jibril, Gaurav Arya, Mark Mercola, Darren J. Lipomi
This article describes an effect based on the wetting transparency of graphene; the morphology of a metallic film (≤20 nm) when deposited on graphene by evaporation depends strongly on the identity of the substrate supporting the graphene. This control permits the formation of a range of geometries, such as tightly packed nanospheres, nanocrystals, and island-like formations with controllable gaps down to 3 nm. These graphene-supported structures can be transferred to any surface and function as ultrasensitive mechanical signal transducers with high sensitivity and range (at least 4 orders of magnitude of strain) for applications in structural health monitoring, electronic skin, measurement of the contractions of cardiomyocytes, and substrates for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS, including on the tips of optical fibers). These composite films can thus be treated as a platform technology for multimodal sensing. Moreover, they are low profile, mechanically robust, semitransparent and have the potential for reproducible manufacturing over large areas.