Scientists from Columbia University have used graphene to create the world’s smallest system that can produce FM (Frequency Modulated) signals.
During the study, the team made use of graphene’s high mechanical ‘stretchability’ to tune the output frequency of their custom made oscillator to create a nanomechanical version of an electronic component known as a voltage controlled oscillator, which makes it easy to generate FM signal. The frequency of the signal was about 100 megahertz, which is right in between the standard 87.7-108 MHz.
Researchers used low frequency musical signals to modulate the 100 MHz carrier signal from the graphene and then retrieved the same using an ordinary FM radio receiver. Although, the nanomechanical system wouldn’t replace conventional radio systems, the use of graphene, the strongest material known to man, with electrical properties superior to the silicon would reduce chips’ size can and increase its strength.