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Not Stuck on Silicon


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LEDs grown on graphene, then peeled

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new technique they say could significantly reduce the overall cost of wafer technology.

Credit: Samuel Cruz, Kyusang Lee, Jeehwan Kim, Yunjo Kim

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new technique they say could significantly reduce the overall cost of wafer technology and enable devices made from more exotic, higher-performing semiconductor materials than conventional silicon.

The new method uses graphene as a kind of "copy machine" to transfer intricate crystalline patterns from an underlying semiconductor wafer to a top layer of identical material.

The researchers developed very specific procedures to place single sheets of graphene onto an expensive wafer. The team then grew semiconducting material over the graphene layer, and found graphene is thin enough to appear electrically invisible, enabling the top layer to see through the graphene to the underlying crystalline wafer, imprinting its patterns without being influenced by the graphene.

They say their research will enable manufacturers to use graphene as an intermediate layer, and could lead to more exotic semiconductor materials.

From MIT News
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