Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg researchers announced that they used silicon carbide to create graphene.
The researchers used a high-energy beam of charged atoms to etch channels into thin silicon carbide wafers defining where different transistor parts would be. The team's breakthrough was adding a bit of hydrogen gas to the process, which affected how the top graphene layer was chemically joined to the underlying silicon carbide, rendering conducting or semiconducting properties to a given region, depending on the etched channels. The nature of the chemical bonds between the two layers changes according to how the hydrogen atoms fit themselves into the interface.
"That's really what they've nailed: Controlling that last little bit of bonding to make one type of contact or another," says SuperStem Laboratory researcher Quentin Ramasse. "That's what the hold-up has been, being able to tailor that contact to suit whatever you want to use it for, and have it all in the one chip."
Analysts say graphene's superior mechanical strength and electronic properties make it an ideal candidate to replace in semiconductor applications.
From BBC News
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