Tiny Components Pave the Way for Great Advances in Electronics


Graphene, microsensors, supercapacitors, and other innovations promise to weave tech into the fabric of our lives.

It was only in 2004 that a method for producing sheets of graphene, at least on purpose, was first developed. In the 17 years since, a slew of parallel advances has finally placed the possibility of revolutionizing how humanity interacts with electronics right on the cusp of the cutting edge. Compared to all prior ways of producing and fabricating graphene-based devices, laser-engraved graphene allows simple, mass-producible, high-quality, inexpensive graphene patterning across a wide variety of applications, including on-skin electronic devices.

In the relatively near-term future, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to anticipate advances in the energy sector, including energy control, energy harvesting, and energy storage. Alongside that, advances in sensors, including physical sensors, gas sensors, and even biosensors, are also right on the near-term horizon. The largest revolution will probably come in terms of wearable devices, including devices used for diagnostic telemedicine applications. To be certain, many challenges and barriers to this still remain, but these represent incremental, rather than revolutionary, improvements. As connected devices and the internet of things continue to take off, the demand for ultraminiaturized electronics is greater than ever. With the recent advances in graphene technology, the future, in many ways, is already here.

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