Measuring the magnetic fields of human thought with an external low-cost and compact brain-computer interface.

About Brane Interface

Led by a 16-year-old high school student, Brane Interface is a technology startup working to develop a low-cost, compact brain-computer interface that can operate without the need to be in direct contact with the brain but instead worn within headphones or under a hat.

By using a single atomic layer of carbon (graphene), Brane Interface plans to link a human brain with an external device, such as a smartphone or computer, in a non-invasive way by sensing the faint magnetic fields of human thought. The applications for the technology could include participation in fully immersive entertainment systems or assisting those who have been paralyzed or have had amputations to have control over artificial limbs.

Currently, Brane Interface has two prototypes of the invention that use a thin polymer and is currently working on a third prototype utilizing a graphene membrane (thus the name “Brane”).

First Prototype

After completing a computer model using Math-Cad software, we set out to make a proof-of-concept prototype of our magnetic field sensor.

We made the first part of our sensor out of acrylic using a laser cutter.

Using an array of ultraviolet lights and UV-cure epoxy, we applied an aluminum-polymer membrane to our acrylic structure.

Our completed first prototype showed that we could measure an external magnetic field by sending a current through our conductive membrane and measuring a change in capacitance with a multimeter.

Second Prototype

We decided to make a much smaller prototype using photolithography.

Etching an array of conductive membranes.

Using a spin coater to apply photoresist.

A single conductive membrane post etch.

A simple photomask used to make the conductive membrane of our sensor.

A flexible printed circuit board used as the sensor’s source, drain, gate and capacitive stator.

A close up view of an etched conductive membrane using an optical microscope.

Third Prototype made with Graphene

Now it’s time to make a “real” device using a single atomic layer of carbon.

Searching for graphene using a scanning electron microscope or “SEM.”

Graphene membrane array captured in SEM.

A small feature on a silicon wafer to test a graphene membrane.

Loading a copper-graphene sample into the SEM.

The basic operating principle of a graphene-based magnetic field sensor.

A SEM image of a small strip of graphene next to the edge of a business card. Graphene is really thin!

The Math

Our equation above shows the importance of current density and membrane thickness.

Only graphene has the current density required to measure the faint magnetic fields of human thought

Graphene is just one atom thick so it is much more sensitive than existing MEMS sensors.

Alex Pinkerton | Co-founder and CEO

I’m currently a sophomore at Saint Andrew’s High School in Austin, Texas. In addition to experimenting with brain-computer interface systems, I’m also working on an efficient power switch that may replace the “semi” conductor switches now used in variable speed drives, electric cars, etc. After college I would like to build Brane Interface into a large company that challenges big tech’s “Frightful 5” with a series of devices that offer a much more natural way to interface with the digital world.

Developed in
Austin, Texas
Copyright © 2018 | Brane Interface | All rights reserved.