Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications Technology

World's Smallest FM Radio Transmitter Created With Graphene 60

Posted by samzenpus
from the smallest-morning-zoo dept.
minty3 writes "The team used graphene's mechanical 'stretchability' in order to create a voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) – an electronic component that can generate an FM signal. The VCO was used to send and receive audio signals of 100 megahertz. The team used pure tones and more complex music signals to tune the VCO's output and found that both kinds of signals could be 'faithfully reproduced' by an ordinary radio receiver."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

World's Smallest FM Radio Transmitter Created With Graphene

Comments Filter:
  • Is the size of the VCO a big deal in manufacturing of any radio transmitter?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Is the size of the VCO a big deal in manufacturing of any radio transmitter?

      Only for people interested in listening in on other people without their knowledge. I can't imagine anyone wanting to do that, though. Besides, you'd need a barely visible microphone [phys.org] to make it useful.

    • by Muad'Dave (255648)

      The actual size might not be a big deal, but if the atomically thin size provides better thermal stability or phase noise, then it's a major win regardless.

  • 100 Mhz audio? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by radaos (540979) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @06:42AM (#45479927) Homepage
    Audio signals of 100 megahertz? They have perfected ultrasound then.
    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      Audio signals of 100 megahertz? They have perfected ultrasound then.

      Given that they have "faithfully reproduced" the audio by using an ordinary radio receiver and that 100MHz is in the commercial FM broadcast band, it would be reasonable to assume that 100MHz is the carrier frequency being used.

      • You've got a strange name there Mr 666. You trying to be edgy or something? But I can't help but think that you're not a nice person, whenever I see your name I get all upset.

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @06:43AM (#45479931)

    Strange to claim it's the "World's Smallest" and not give it's size.

    I'd guess 4m x 10m?

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      I meant micrometers. For some reason, /. didn't like the [micro].

    • by khakipuce (625944)

      What strange units are these? You must use "widths of a human hair", "x football fields", "y Olympic sized swimming pools", etc.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Strange to claim it's the "World's Smallest" and not give it's size.

      You must be new here.

      Don't ever expect Slashdot to link to a proper article instead of a crappy news aggregator site.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Don't ever expect Slashdot to link to a proper article instead of a crappy news aggregator site.

        Don't blame slashdot, first blame the submitters -- they're the ones supplying the links. Next, blame yourself for not voting down stories with shitty links and then submitting your own with a good one.

        And since you got me to post this offtopic answer, Buy my book! [mcgrewbooks.com] Or at least read it. Just to make up for the downmod!

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Looks like the superstructure is about 6x6 micron, with the oscillator in the middle being a 2-4 micron diameter circle of graphene.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 21, 2013 @07:11AM (#45480041)

    What they have demonstrate is how a graphene structure can be made into a tunable oscillator by constructing a rather crude but working FM 'radio-transmitter' using one.

    Its significant because older mechanical oscillators were based on crystals or MEMS stuctures that are rather more 'large' than "a one atom-thick graphene sheet" and in practical applications often require considerable space and volume on a circuit board or inside a die package.

    If this structure could be incorporated into the microlithography process that is used in making 'electrics chips' then a large external component could be omitted from designs. You could also include multiple independent oscillators on the same die that requires them allowing for more precise control of frequencies needed.

    AC cause I can't be bothered to login - more Karma for dev/null ^^

    • by martyb (196687) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @09:22AM (#45480469)

      What they have demonstrate is how a graphene structure can be made into a tunable oscillator by constructing a rather crude but working FM 'radio-transmitter' using one.

      You are correct. And crude is an apt choice of wording... From the supplementary information [nature.com] (scroll to the bottom), there are links to: pdf [nature.com] containing data on setup, testing, and characterization as well as a .wav file [nature.com] (confusingly labeled "movie"). It appears to be a sample of a transmitted sound sample of "Gangnam Style!"

      The sound quality of this sample is more on the order of a noisy AM radio broadcast, but given the technology being used, quite impressive, nonetheless.

      FWIW, there is a (somewhat) better write-up at redorbit [redorbit.com].

      And, yes, the 100MHz in TFS refers to the carrier frequency, which is but one of several that they tested. But, it also happens to be in the FM radio band and hence the (attention-grabbing) title.

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        > It appears to be a sample of a transmitted sound sample of "Gangnam Style!"

        And another opportunity to Rickroll entire communities is lost.

  • by shellster_dude (1261444) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @09:49AM (#45480645)
    Wake me up when they have created the world's smallest graphene violin!
  • So this is what brings us those tiny PBS relay stations we briefly encounter in a cross-country drive?
  • by havana9 (101033) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @11:46AM (#45481723)
    We can broadcast the world's saddest song on the world's smallest violin with the smallest FM transmitter!
  • Think of the implications this can have for us with the NSA bundling it. I wouldn't be surprised if this similar tech is already snooping on us.
    No amount of de-wiring the obvious attack points will help. Seriously, the world is getting extremely inconvenient to live in when it comes to computing we can trust.

UNIX is hot. It's more than hot. It's steaming. It's quicksilver lightning with a laserbeam kicker. -- Michael Jay Tucker

Working...