Graphene Investigated for RF Shielding

Effective RF shielding is required to prevent RF emitters from causing interference inside devices and also for securing wireless communications. Researchers at Queen Mary's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science have found that transparent layers of graphene increased the absorption of electromagnetic energy by 90 percent over a wide bandwidth. The research was published earlier this month in the journal Scientific Reports.

“The technological potential of graphene is well-known. This paper demonstrates one example of how that potential can translate into a practical application,” said Yang Hao, author of the study and professor of antennas and electromagnetics at Queen Mary's. “The transparent material could be added as a coating to car windows or buildings to stop radio waves from traveling through the structure. This, in turn, could be used to improve secure wireless network environments, for example.”

The article didn't mention that coating car windows would also prevent use of cell phones or texting while in vehicles when the windows were up.

The researchers used an RF shield created by placing a stack of layers of graphene supported by a metal plate and the mineral quartz to absorb signals from a millimeter wave source, Co-author Bian Wu, who is at Queen Mary from Xidian University in China on a scholarship from China Scholarship Council, explained: “The stacking configuration gives us better control of the interaction between radio waves and the graphene.”

The group is now working on development prototypes to take graphene from the lab to actual engineering applications.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.