Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Graphene microphone outperforms traditional nickel and offers ultrasonic reach


Scientists have developed a graphene based microphone nearly 32 times more sensitive than microphones of standard nickel-based construction.

The researchers, based at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, created a vibrating membrane - the part of a condenser microphone which converts the sound to a current - from graphene, and were able to show up to 15 dB higher sensitivity compared to a commercial microphone, at frequencies up to 11 kHz.

Generic microphone on sound desk is shown.

Credit: Pixabay 2015 CC0

The results are published today, 27th November 2015, in the journal 2D Materials.

"We wanted to show that graphene, although a relatively new material, has potential for real world applications" explains Marko Spasenovic, an author of the paper. "Given its light weight, high mechanical strength and flexibility, graphene just begs to be used as an acoustic membrane material."

The graphene membrane, approximately 60 layers thick, was grown on a nickel foil using chemical vapour deposition, to ensure consistent quality across all the samples.

During membrane production, the nickel foil was etched away and the graphene membrane placed in the same housing as a commercial microphone for comparison. This showed a 15 dB higher sensitivity than the commercial microphone.

The researchers also simulated a 300-layer thick graphene membrane, which shows potential for performance far into the ultrasonic part of the spectrum.

"The microphone performed as well as we hoped it would" adds Spasenovic. "A thicker graphene membrane theoretically could be stretched further, enabling ultrasonic performance, but sadly we're just not quite there yet experimentally."

"At this stage there are several obstacles to making cheap graphene, so our microphone should be considered more a proof of concept" concludes Spasenovic. "The industry is working hard to improve graphene production - eventually this should mean we have better microphones at lower cost."



For further information, a full draft of the journal paper, or to talk with one of the researchers, contact IOP Senior Press Officer, Steve Pritchard: Tel: 0117 930 1032 E-mail: For more information on how to use the embargoed material above, please refer to our embargo policy.

A copy of the paper can be found here:

IOP Publishing Journalist Area

The IOP Publishing Journalist Area gives journalists access to embargoed press releases, advanced copies of papers, supplementary images and videos

Login details also give free access to IOPscience, IOP Publishing's journal platform. To apply for a free subscription to this service, please email the IOP Publishing Press team at, with your name, organisation, address and a preferred username.

Multilayer graphene condenser microphone

The published version of the paper 'Multilayer graphene condenser microphone' (2D Mater. 2 045013) will be freely available online from Friday 27 November.

It will be available at

2D Materials

2D Materials is a multidisciplinary, electronic-only journal devoted to publishing fundamental and applied research of the highest quality and impact covering all aspects of graphene and related two-dimensional materials.

IOP Publishing

IOP Publishing provides publications through which leading-edge scientific research is distributed worldwide.

IOP Publishing is central to the Institute of Physics, a not-for-profit society. Any financial surplus earned by IOP Publishing goes to support science through the activities of the Institute.

Go to or follow us @IOPPublishing.

The Institute of Physics

The Institute of Physics is a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application.

Media Contact

Steve Pritchard


Steve Pritchard | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht 'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region
16.03.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Fraunhofer HHI have developed a novel single-polarization Kramers-Kronig receiver scheme
16.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>