InAVator: Robert-Eric Gaskell, Ora Sound

Lightweight, strong and inexpensive – a new graphene-based material has the potential to enhance both the performance and battery life of loudspeakers. Charlotte Ashley finds out more from inventor Robert-Eric Gaskell.

I started playing violin when I was four years old and played in bands throughout high school, but always found myself more interested in taking apart and rebuilding the amplifiers that we used than playing music itself,” says Robert-Eric Gaskell. He would go on to co-invent a graphene oxide-based composite material that has the potential to improve sound quality in a variety of environments.

The material was born from a conversation with his brother, an electronic engineering specialist, during their time studying at McGill University, a public research establishment based in Montreal, Canada. “The project was really a cross-pollination between my department (sound recording) and my brother’s.” He adds: “I was very interested in the sound quality and the improve- ment that it could bring in terms of its stiffness and avoiding distortion.”

What started as a side project turned into something much bigger for Gaskell, who would go on to create the laminate material dubbed ‘grapheneQ’ (named after its low Q resonance) with his brother Peter and guidance from Canada’s research chair in Nanoscale Electronics.

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