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Peter Grünberg Institute / Institute of Complex Systems

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Research Project: GFET: Development and application of graphene FET arrays and its application for the study of neuronal networks

In 2011 the president of the Helmholtz Association Professor Jürgen Mlynek, and the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) president Professor BAI Chunli signed an agreement to establish Helmholtz-CAS Joint-Research Groups (HCJRG). The aim for this HCJRG programme is to support the jointly identified cooperation projects with mutual interests and scientific excellence. Our group was one of the first five Groups which were selected in September 2012.

Abstract: Within this project we want to develop graphene-based neuro-electronic hybrids that have the potential to improve chronic implants in the future. Graphene exhibits, in addition to its stability and favorable electronic properties, also a large flexibility so that it can be adapted to the neuronal tissues, and thus will be superior to other commonly used materials.

Within the project we will pursue the following ideas:

(i) Graphene FETs exhibit extremely high sensitivity and very low electronic noise. Consequently, we will fabricate graphene based field-effect transistors (G-FETs) to record neuronal signals.

(ii) Graphene enables a larger electrical charge and allows size-reduction compared to Pt- and IrOx-electrodes. Therefore, we will elucidate the mechanism of charge injections of graphene in physiological environments for the stimulation of neurons. The smaller size and higher conductivity also decreases impedance, enabling clearer readings of neuronal activity.

(iii) The chemically properties of graphene may facilitate the integration with neural tissue. We will characterize the interaction of graphene and neuronal cells and study the influence of surface modifications.

Principal Investigator(s): Offenhäusser, Andreas

Partner:  Shanghai Institute of Microsystems and Information Technology (SIMIT) (link out: 

Webpage:   ----- (under construction)

Project start: 01.05.2013

Probable end: 30.09.2016

Status:   Active