Issue 13, 2023

Ultra-sensitive graphene membranes for microphone applications


Microphones exploit the motion of suspended membranes to detect sound waves. Since the microphone performance can be improved by reducing the thickness and mass of its sensing membrane, graphene-based microphones are expected to outperform state-of-the-art microelectromechanical (MEMS) microphones and allow further miniaturization of the device. Here, we present a laser vibrometry study of the acoustic response of suspended multilayer graphene membranes for microphone applications. We address performance parameters relevant for acoustic sensing, including mechanical sensitivity, limit of detection and nonlinear distortion, and discuss the trade-offs and limitations in the design of graphene microphones. We demonstrate superior mechanical sensitivities of the graphene membranes, reaching more than 2 orders of magnitude higher compliances than commercial MEMS devices, and report a limit of detection as low as 15 dBSPL, which is 10–15 dB lower than that featured by current MEMS microphones.

Graphical abstract: Ultra-sensitive graphene membranes for microphone applications

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
19 Sep 2022
08 Mar 2023
First published
09 Mar 2023
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale, 2023,15, 6343-6352

Ultra-sensitive graphene membranes for microphone applications

G. Baglioni, R. Pezone, S. Vollebregt, K. Cvetanović Zobenica, M. Spasenović, D. Todorović, H. Liu, G. J. Verbiest, H. S. J. van der Zant and P. G. Steeneken, Nanoscale, 2023, 15, 6343 DOI: 10.1039/D2NR05147H

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