Georgia Tech engineers have developed a way to use graphene nano-antennas to allow for devices powered by small amounts of scavenged energy. Communication between low-power nanomachines is impossible using metallic antennas. The researchers found graphene could generate an electronic “surface wave” that would allow nanonetworks of antennas just one micron long and 10 to 100 nanometers wide to do the work of much larger antennas, based on their modelling and simulations. Other nanosensors have been developed using the tools of synthetic biology to modify single-celled organisms, such as bacteria.
With the Internet of Things expected to comprise 30 billion connected devices by 2020, one of the most exciting technologies today is to make use of nano-sensors capable of circulating in the human body or being embedded in construction materials. Once connected, this Internet of Nano-things could have a huge impact on the future of medicine, architecture, agriculture and drug manufacture.