Fabrication Technique Gives Graphene the Flexibility for Future Transistors

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An atomic microscope image of graphene trenches at 18nm deep. Graphene is grown across the trenches. (Source: Georgia Tech)
An atomic microscope image of graphene trenches at 18nm deep. Graphene is grown across the trenches.
(Source: Georgia Tech)

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two different things
naperlou   12/7/2012 10:29:31 AM
The issue of shrinking transistor size and of stretchability are really two different things. 

Over the last many years people have been looking for the replacement for silicon.  It is interesting that this has not happened yet.  Chip makers continually improve silicon manufactur and density.  Other materials generally prove to be of a much lower yield or density or both.  Gallium Arsenide was one of those.  It could operate at higher speeds, but yield and density were poor.

The solution to reaching limits on clock speed has been architectural.  Thus we have multicore machines. 

It always seems to be a race between silicon getting better and something else.  As you point out in the article, the first theoretical conjecture was in 1947.  These things can take a long time before they go from theory to industrial use.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: two different things
Ann R. Thryft   12/10/2012 12:49:13 PM
Lou, I've seen the same dialectic again and again between supposed silicon limits about to be reached at X.X process generation and the architectural fixes for same. But one of the main reasons silicon hasn't been replaced yet isn't technical: it's economic, And I don't mean the fact that the material is relatively cheap. The situation is analogous to other potential replacements, like electric and/or hybrid cars, or solar energy, or bioplastics and biofuels: the existing infrastructure is huge, entrenched, pervasive and profitable. Replacing it will take a lot of conscious, united effort, even if the replacing technology works just as well.

Ann R. Thryft
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A totally cool step forward
Ann R. Thryft   12/7/2012 3:07:49 PM
Cabe, thanks for covering this news from Georgia Tech. Graphene, in various forms including CNTs, has been considered as one possible replacement for silicon for several years. This is a totally cool step forward.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: A totally cool step forward
Cabe Atwell   12/7/2012 5:59:57 PM
Graphene is the future. Forcing a band gap in the material was the crucial step.

However, now that it is poised to be used mainstream, how toxic is the manufacturing process of graphene? I read an article here at DN on nano-tube creation, and its bad. Graphene can't be far behind it.



Ann R. Thryft
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Re: A totally cool step forward
Ann R. Thryft   1/3/2013 8:13:36 PM
Cabe, I wrote that article on CNT toxicity. CNTs are made of graphene, but the toxicity potential is far, far worse with nanomaterials because of their size.

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