Moving graphene devices from lab to market: advanced graphene-coated nanoprobes†
After more than a decade working with graphene there is still a preoccupying lack of commercial devices based on this wonder material. Here we report the use of high-quality solution-processed graphene sheets to fabricate ultra-sharp probes with superior performance. Nanoprobes are versatile tools used in many fields of science, but they can wear fast after some experiments, reducing the quality and increasing the cost of the research. As the market of nanoprobes is huge, providing a solution for this problem should be a priority for the nanotechnology industry. Our graphene-coated nanoprobes not only show enhanced lifetime, but also additional unique properties of graphene, such as hydrophobicity. Moreover, we have functionalized the surface of graphene to provide piezoelectric capability, and have fabricated a nano relay. The simplicity and low cost of this method, which can be used to coat any kind of sharp tip, make it suitable for the industry, allowing production on demand.