European Space Agency backs university-born graphene innovation

Advanced Graphene Products (AGP) employs a deposition method for the production of graphene, where a graphene layer is built up on a surface, first developed at Poland’s Lodz University of Technology.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that a project it has backed has yielded a combined temperature and magnetism sensor. “Any time we can do more with less is a good result for the space sector,” notes ESA materials specialist Ugo Lafont. “Thanks to the unique properties of graphene, our prototype bi-functional sensor can measure magnetic field strength at the same time as taking temperature readings.

Among its other properties, graphene is an excellent electrical conductor, and it is this characteristic that the new bi-functional sensor makes use of.

The next step was to align AGP’s graphene sheet to the sensor’s electrical connectors with molecule-scale precision, then safely encapsulate it, a task performed by the PORT Polish Center for Technology Development.

Testing of the prototype sensor took place at AGP as well as Lodz University of Technology, demonstrating precision down to a hundredth of a degree.

“More broadly we’ve been looking into adding graphene for better batteries and other energy storage methods, as well as an added ingredient of various materials, to augment their strength and electrical properties.”

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