Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have taken a step toward making graphene based electronics tech possible.
Researchers around the world believe that graphene has the potential to be the next generation semiconductor material as a result of its unique properties, such as its high mobility which has been shown to be up to 250 times higher than silicon. , low loss requirements. , small scale and flexibility. But its potential has weakened along the way, due to harmful processing methods and the lack of a new electronic paradigm to accept it. With silicon about to max out its ability to accommodate faster computing, the next big nanoelectronics platform is needed now more than ever.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have taken steps to make this possible. Walter de Heer, Regents Professor at the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his colleagues have developed a new nanoelectronics platform based on graphene – a sheet of carbon atoms. The technology is compatible with conventional microelectronics manufacturing, a requirement for any viable alternative to silicon.
Researchers have created a modified form of epigraphene on a crystalline silicon carbide substrate to create a new nanoelectronics platform. They make unique silicon carbide chips from electronics-grade silicon carbide crystals. used electron beam lithography, a method commonly used in microelectronics, to etch graphene nanostructures and weld their edges to silicon carbide chips.
This process mechanically strengthens and seals the edges of the graphene, which can react with oxygen and other gases that can interfere with the movement of charges along the edges. Finally, to measure the electronic properties of their graphene platform, the team used a cryogenic apparatus that allowed them to record its properties from near-zero temperatures to room temperature.
The results show that graphene edge states are similar to photons in an optical fiber that can travel long distances without scattering. They found that the charges traveled tens of thousands of nanometers along the edge before dispersing. Graphene electrons in previous technologies can only travel about 10 nanometers before colliding with small imperfections and scattering in different directions. Their discovery could lead to the creation of smaller, faster, more efficient, and more durable computer chips, and has potential implications for quantum and high-performance computing.
Reference: Prudkovskiy, VS, Hu, Y., Zhang, K. and so on. An epitaxial graphene platform for zero-energy edge state nanoelectronics. Nat Common 137814 (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-34369-4