Thursday, March 14, 2013

SCIENCE! Berkeley Uses Graphene to Create Awesome Earphones

What an amazing little wonder material.

I wont go into exactly what graphene is, as I'm not that good at science-ing. Those of you who wish to learn more about this carbon material can check out the Wiki on graphene. Just believe me when I say it's pretty rad.

Anywho, researchers at Berkeley have taken a  30nm thin sheet of this material to use as the diaphragm for a pair of earphones. Now, most cheap headphones use a treated paper (they often call it something fancy like cellulose) to bounce air into your ear, and more expensive sets can use polymers and carbon fiber. The disadvantage to those solutions is they often need to be dampened. Generate too much force in a certain part of the EQ range, and you can blow out the diaphragm.

Graphene is extremely durable for its weight, so an ultra thin sheet of the material can withstand more force than the solutions we currently have on the market. This isn't just a solution for listening to music louder, it also means that more of the EQ spectrum can be represented without fear of damage. You'll be able to hear "more" of your music more accurately. Exciting stuff.

Of course this is all still in the research phase, so I wouldn't count on this in the consumer space anytime soon, but once we do start to see commercial applications, expect MUCH better headphones and portable speakers.

ExtremeTech has a great write up for those wanting MOAR SCIENCES!