Atom-flat sensors, made from 2D materials, could be used to monitor performance without adding weight or hindering signal flow if they could be seamlessly integrated onto surfaces with different geometries where detection for near-field signal is desired.
2D materials are often touted for their strength, but it’s difficult to move 2D materials without damaging them. Researchers at Rice University have devised a way to keep the materials and their associated circuitry, including electrodes, intact as they’re moved to curved or other smooth surfaces.
To test their concept, the researchers made a 10-nm-thick indium selenide photodetector with gold electrodes and placed it onto an optical fiber. The near-field sensor effectively coupled with an evanescent field (the oscillating electromagnetic wave that rides the surface of the fiber) and accurately detected the flow of information inside the fiber.