2D Material Sensors Offer Next-Gen Sensing

If atom-flat 2D material sensors could be seamlessly integrated onto surfaces with different geometries where detection for the near-field signal is desired, they could be used to monitor performance without adding weight or hindering signal flow. Although 2D materials are often praised for their strength, moving them without damaging them is difficult. According to researchers, the materials and their associated circuitry, including electrodes, are kept intact as they are moved to curved or other smooth surfaces.

To put their theory to the test, the researchers constructed a 10-nm-thick indium selenide photodetector with gold electrodes and attached it to an optical fiber. The near-field sensor successfully coupled with an evanescent field (the oscillating electromagnetic wave that rides the fiber’s surface) and detected the flow of information inside the fiber.

The team’s device transfer technique uses a sacrificial polymer underlayer to achieve clean and non-destructive full device transfer. The researchers demonstrated their method by transferring a fully functional 2D multilayer InSe photodetector device onto a stripped optical fiber.

According to the researchers, their superthin flexible device assemblies can be integrated onto optical fibers to monitor optical fiber performance noninvasively. The demonstration of optically coupled, conformal 2D devices on substrates of various form factors could pave the way for a wide range of near-field optical and sensing applications.

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