A multisensory graphene-based skin can sense in extreme environments where other sensors cannot be used

A fresh sense of possibility
The system has the resilience to withstand very harsh conditions, such as extreme temperatures, high salinity, varying pressure, intense radiation, reactive chemicals and/or high humidity. Credit: 2020 KAUST

Harsh environments that are inhospitable to existing technologies could now be monitored using sensors based on graphene. An intriguing form of carbon, graphene comprises layers of interconnected hexagonal rings of carbon atoms, a structure that yields unique electronic and physical properties with possibilities for many applications.


“Graphene has been projected as a miracle material for years now, but its application in harsh environmental conditions was unexplored,” says Sohail Shaikh, who has developed the new sensors, together with KAUST’s Muhammad Hussain.

“Existing sensor technologies operate in a very limited range of environmental conditions, failing or becoming unreliable if there is much deviation,” Shaikh adds.

The new robust sensor relies on changes in the electrical resistance of graphene in response to varying temperature, salinity

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