Metallic nanoislands on graphene as highly sensitive transducers of mechanical, biological, and optical signals

Aliaksandr V. Zaretski, Samuel E. Root, Alex Savchenko, Elena Molokanova, Adam D. Printz, Liban Jibril, Gaurav Arya, Mark Mercola, Darren J. Lipomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


This article describes an effect based on the wetting transparency of graphene; the morphology of a metallic film (≤20 nm) when deposited on graphene by evaporation depends strongly on the identity of the substrate supporting the graphene. This control permits the formation of a range of geometries, such as tightly packed nanospheres, nanocrystals, and island-like formations with controllable gaps down to 3 nm. These graphene-supported structures can be transferred to any surface and function as ultrasensitive mechanical signal transducers with high sensitivity and range (at least 4 orders of magnitude of strain) for applications in structural health monitoring, electronic skin, measurement of the contractions of cardiomyocytes, and substrates for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS, including on the tips of optical fibers). These composite films can thus be treated as a platform technology for multimodal sensing. Moreover, they are low profile, mechanically robust, semitransparent and have the potential for reproducible manufacturing over large areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1380
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 10 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiomyocyte
  • Graphene
  • SERS
  • strain sensor
  • wearable sensor
  • wetting transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Metallic nanoislands on graphene as highly sensitive transducers of mechanical, biological, and optical signals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this