The accidental discovery that honey is an effective, non-toxic substitute for the manipulation of the current and voltage characteristics of graphene.
First, researchers tried to utilize water as a top-gate dielectric to manipulate graphene’s electrical conductivity. This approach unsuccessful. They proceeded with various compositions of sugar and deionized water, another electrolyte, which still resulted in negligible performance. That’s when the honey caught researchers, and an accidental scientific breakthrough realized.
The team describes how honey produces a nanometer-sized electric double layer at the interface with graphene. And, how it can use to gate the ambipolar transport of graphene.
“As a top-gate dielectric, water is much too conductive, so we moved to sugar and de-ionized water to control the ionic composition in hopes we could reduce conductivity,” Dr. Richard Ordonez, a nanomaterials scientist at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.
novel graphene devices
Ordonez, and a team of researchers, developing novel graphene devices as part of a Navy Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) that can use as next-generation sensors and wearable devices.
Traditionally, electrolytic gate transistors made with ionic gel materials. But, it can take several months to figure out the correct recipe that requires for these gels to function in the environment. Some liquids toxic, so experimentation must conduct in an atmospheric-controlled environment. The honey is an intermediate step towards using ionic gels, and possibly a replacement for certain applications.
Researchers envision the honey-based version of graphene products used for rapid prototyping of devices. Since, the devices can create quickly and easily redesigned based on results. Using honey allows the team to get initial tests underway without waiting for costly fabrication equipment.
Ordonez also sees a use for such products in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach efforts. Since, the honey is non-toxic and used to teach students about graphene.
More information: [Scientific Reports]