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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Imaging electric field dynamics with graphene optoelectronics.

  • Author(s): Horng, Jason
  • Balch, Halleh B
  • McGuire, Allister F
  • Tsai, Hsin-Zon
  • Forrester, Patrick R
  • Crommie, Michael F
  • Cui, Bianxiao
  • Wang, Feng
  • et al.

The use of electric fields for signalling and control in liquids is widespread, spanning bioelectric activity in cells to electrical manipulation of microstructures in lab-on-a-chip devices. However, an appropriate tool to resolve the spatio-temporal distribution of electric fields over a large dynamic range has yet to be developed. Here we present a label-free method to image local electric fields in real time and under ambient conditions. Our technique combines the unique gate-variable optical transitions of graphene with a critically coupled planar waveguide platform that enables highly sensitive detection of local electric fields with a voltage sensitivity of a few microvolts, a spatial resolution of tens of micrometres and a frequency response over tens of kilohertz. Our imaging platform enables parallel detection of electric fields over a large field of view and can be tailored to broad applications spanning lab-on-a-chip device engineering to analysis of bioelectric phenomena.

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