IBM makes progress with graphene research

Janet Harris

March 7, 2008


IBM makes progress with graphene research

IBM researchers at the T.J. Watson Research Center, in New York, are a step closer to using graphene as an alternative to silicon in the manufacture of semiconductors.

Graphene, a nano material first discovered in 2004, is an atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice.

Scientists believe it could be used to construct nano electric circuits much smaller than today’s tiniest silicon chips.

However, in order to use graphene rather than silicon, researchers have to overcome Hooge’s rule which states that as transistors become smaller, the tiny electron charges inside them will threaten to overwhelm a desired signal with unwanted interference.

IBM researchers now claim to have developed a technique to reduce this interference in graphene by a magnitude of ten.

The scientists found that using a single layer of graphene to build a transistor follows the proportional size-to-interference problem, but stacking another sheet of graphene can significantly counteract the influence of the noise.

It is not yet clear why the double-layer of graphene screens the electric noise, and further studies are ongoing.

The research has been published in trade journal, Nano Letters.






 

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