Graphene is a monolayer of carbon atoms arranged in a sheet within a hexagonal crystal lattice. Due to the material’s extraordinary mechanical, chemical, optical, and electrical properties, it has become an extremely intense field of research since the first experimental realization in 2004. Since that time, other 2D materials have been discovered and made in the lab, ranging from semi-metals, to semiconductors, to insulators. These materials are expected to change the face of technology in the 21st century.
Graphene is an obvious material of choice for microphone membranes, because it is lightweight and stiff. We made the first microphone with a graphene membrane, which outperformed microphones with traditional nickel membranes. Under optimal conditions, graphene microphones could have usable bandwidth extending to the ultrasonic part of the spectrum.