Graphene is a single-atom-thick planar sheet of sp2-bonded carbon atoms perfectly arranged in a honeycomb lattice. Owing to its extraordinary physiochemical and structural properties, this exciting new material has quickly sparked tremendous interests across many disciplines, including nanoelectronics, high-frequency electronics, energy storage and conversion, field emission display and transparent conductors.
In the past decade or so, various zero dimensional (0D) and one dimensional (1D) nanomaterials have been the main impetus for novel and better sensor developments. These include quantum dots, nanoparticles, nanowires, and notably, carbon nanotubes that are one-dimensional cylinders of carbon sheets.
Ever since the first isolation of free-standing graphene sheets in 2004, this two-dimensional (2D) carbon crystal has been highly anticipated to provide unique and new opportunities for sensor applications. Graphene has already demonstrated great potentials in various novel sensors which utilize its exceptional electrical properties (extremely high carrier mobility and capacity, etc), electrochemical properties (high electron transfer rate, etc), optical properties (excellent ability to quench fluorescence, etc), structural properties (one-atom thickness and extremely high surface-to volume ratio, etc) or its mechanical properties (outstanding robustness and flexibility, etc).
Graphene has also been used as physical sensors (for detection of photons, magnetic field, mass and strain, etc). It has also been demonstrated as a material for biological and chemical sensors.
Extracted and edited form ” Biological and chemical sensors based on graphene materials by Yuxin Liu, Xiaochen Dong and Peng Chen in Chemical Society Reviews, 2012″