This is a good system, and engineers have gotten very good at producing great sounding speakers, but having these moving parts means that the mechanism takes up more space than it needs to.
The new graphene method, published in the journal Scientific Reports and reported by , involving rapidly heating and cooling the atomically thin material to cause the air around it to expand and contract, creating sound waves.
Microscopic, transparent speakers
The new process not only allows speakers to be made that are much smaller than was previously possible but, thanks to graphene being transparent, it means that a layer of the material could be placed over a phone screen to turn the entire screen into a speaker.
Phone bezels have already gotten fantastically thin with phones such as the , but this new technology could see them reduce further still without having to compromise by putting the speaker on the side or the rear of the phone.
However, although the research looks promising, graphene has a number of manufacturing problems that are holding it back from mass-market production. At the moment producing a ‘perfect’ sheet of graphene , meaning that they have about half the strength of a perfect sample.
So while the list of potential applications continues to grow, the much needed development remains in graphene manufacturing.