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CORDIS - Résultats de la recherche de l’UE

Graphene Tunneling Accelerometer

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GraTA (Graphene Tunneling Accelerometer)

Période du rapport: 2017-08-01 au 2018-07-31

Accelerometers are widely used in various scenarios in the modern world, for example, in seismology, transportation, aerospace, navigation, automation, industry, security, and consumer electronics. Wide bandwidth, high sensitivity, small footprint Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) accelerometers are especially favored in industrial machine vibration monitoring because the vibration data can forecast a machine’s potential failure, such as its turbines, fans, pumps, compressors, etc. However, such high-end accelerometers are far from mature for large-scale industrial deployment. Based on our previous research on the physics of quantum tunneling as well as state-of-the-art graphene Nano Electro Mechanical System (NEMS) devices funded by the ERC project QuDet, we propose an innovative design utilizing graphene as the game-changing material to solve the last-mile problems of tunneling-based accelerometers.

The accelerometer market is vast as well as segmented. Different applications have different demands on measuring range, bandwidth, sensitivity, size, durability, and price. Machine vibration monitoring is the primary field that will benefit from the graphene tunneling accelerometer, mainly because of its wide bandwidth, high sensitivity, and small size. According to Yole MEMS report in 2014, only one company is known to commercialize tunneling-based accelerometers, and there yet is no product available on the market. Their published prototype based on bulk silicon is aimed at seismic applications, with a very low resonance frequency of 150 Hz. Thus the market (especially on machine vibration monitoring) for the graphene tunneling accelerometer exists due to its wide bandwidth, high sensitivity, small size, and reasonable cost.

The results of our PoC project promise a notable extension on bandwidth and sensitivity to the known state-of-the-art accelerometers. Many industrial product / service providers, including our partners, will benefit from such high-performance accelerometers. Furthermore, in the era of mobile devices and the Internet of things, the miniaturization of accelerometers with higher sensitivity may find more applications in daily life. A huge market can be expected, with further increased production volume and reduced cost.