Graphene tattoo. The translucent squiggles on this woman’s forehead aren’t some new fashion statement: They’re electrodes that could help her or her doctor monitor brain activity or other physiological signals depending on where the squiggles get applied. Nanshu Lu’s and Deji Akinwande’s groups at the @u University of Texas, Austin, made this graphene electronic tattoo (GET) by attaching tattoo paper to a supported monolayer of graphene—a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon. The team could then apply the graphene layer to the skin like a temporary tattoo. Because of the extreme thinness of graphene and the flexible curvy shapes they cut into the GET, the electrode can bend and deform with skin, allowing users to wear it as they go about their day and facilitating real-time sensing applications.
Credit: Zeyu Yang.