Chemical-sensitive graphene modulator with a memory effect for internet-of-things applications

Haiyu Huang, Li Tao, Fei Liu, Li Ji, Ye Hu, Mark Ming Cheng Cheng, Pai Yen Chen, Deji Akinwande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Modern internet of things (IoTs) and ubiquitous sensor networks could potentially take advantage of chemically sensitive nanomaterials and nanostructures. However, their heterogeneous integration with other electronic modules on a networked sensor node, such as silicon-based modulators and memories, is inherently challenging because of compatibility and integration issues. Here we report a novel paradigm for sensing modulators: a graphene field-effect transistor device that directly modulates a radio frequency (RF) electrical carrier signal when exposed to chemical agents, with a memory effect in its electrochemical history. We demonstrated the concept and implementation of this graphene-based sensing modulator through a frequency-modulation (FM) experiment conducted in a modulation cycle consisting of alternating phases of air exposure and ethanol or water treatment. In addition, we observed an analog memory effect in terms of the charge neutrality point of the graphene, Vcnp, which strongly influences the FM results, and developed a calibration method using electrochemical gate-voltage pulse sequences. This graphene-based multifunctional device shows great potential for use in a simple, low-cost, and ultracompact nanomaterial-based nodal architecture to enable continuous, real-time event-based monitoring in pervasive healthcare IoTs, ubiquitous security systems, and other chemical/molecular/gas monitoring applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16018
JournalMicrosystems and Nanoengineering
StatePublished - 2016


  • CVD graphene
  • Chemical sensing microsystems
  • Graphene field-effect sensors
  • Internet of nano-things
  • Microsensor networks
  • RF and analog microdevices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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