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Researchers Step Toward Faster Chips

Scientists and engineers from the University of Florida, Stanford University, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have created a basic type of semiconductor from graphene, a single atom-thick layer of graphite. The research could lead to smaller computer chips with more memory that are more efficient at performing data- and communication-intensive assignments.

"This work is essentially finding a new way to modify a graphene nanoribbon to make it able to conduct electrons," says Florida professor Jing Guo. "This addresses a very fundamental requirement for graphene to be useful in the production of electronics." The researchers created a n-type transistor out of graphene nanoribbon, a nanometer-wide strip cut from a sheet of graphene. Guo says his team built and modeled the first-ever graphene nanoribbon n-type field-effect transistor using a new method that involves affixing nitrogen atoms to the edge of the nanoribbon. The method also could help make the edges of the nanometer-wide ribbon smoother, an important aspect of making the transistor faster.

Before graphene transistors can be mass produced for consumer products, the cost of graphene needs to be significantly reduced and engineers need to learn how to build billions of transistors on a tiny piece of graphene.

From University of Florida News
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