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United Kingdom Science Hardware Technology

Nascent Graphene Institute Makes Steps Toward Transistors 22

judgecorp writes "A research team at Manchester has taken a big step toward building transistors with graphene. So far graphene's marvelous conductivity has actually proved a drawback, but the team has sandwiched a layer of molybdenum disulfide between layers of graphene to provide a high on/off ratio. Also, the British Government is finding £50 million to fund Manchester as a center for graphene study and development, led by two professors there, Sir Kostya Novoselov and Sir Andre Geim, who shared the 2010 Nobel prize for Physics for their work on graphene."
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Nascent Graphene Institute Makes Steps Toward Transistors

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  • So...are we a step closer to find graphene-based life form or not?
  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @04:36PM (#38945977)

    "Researchers have created the world's thinnest pane of glass—and it looks oddly familiar. The glass, made of silicon and oxygen, formed accidentally when the scientists were making graphene, an atom-thick sheet of carbon, on copper-covered quartz. They believe an air leak caused the copper to react with the quartz, which is also made of silicon and oxygen, producing a glass layer with the graphene. The glass is a mere three atoms thick—the minimum thickness of silica glass—which makes it two-dimensional. [...] In addition to demonstrating how graphene makes it possible to produce previously unfeasible 2D-materials, ultra-thin glass could be used in semiconductor or graphene transistors." []

    How about three atoms thick glass as an insulator between graphene layers?

    • It may be worth looking into, but I have a suspicion that quartz has a higher capacitance than Mo. Again, I am not an expert in this area, but I think a transistor wants a pretty low capacitance so it can be driven from on to off (or off to on) without too much hassle. It seems that a higher capacitance would make for a slower transistor due to charge drain.
      • by dkf ( 304284 )

        It depends on what you're using the device for. High capacitance can be very useful for things like power storage (and, if the leakage current is low enough, memory). You're right that you don't want it in the logic circuits though.

  • Wearable Computers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jpwilliams ( 2430348 ) on Monday February 06, 2012 @05:15PM (#38946395)
    I'm wondering if the mentioned heat reduction would be enough to make wearable computers more plausible and usable then they are today ...
    • by rtaylor ( 70602 )

      What exactly about todays portable computers (cell phones) do you find underpowered to use it as a wearable?

      We've reached the golden age of wearables. Nearly everybody who wants one can have one. The interface sucks but that isn't the fault of the hardware.

      A massive improvement in battery capacity would be nice though I can use my Nexus S for a full day (I use it as a portable data-entry device) with 4 extra AAA batteries.

      • I guess a mobile is almost like a wearable computer. I'm picturing something that's actually integrated with clothing or, extremely, the body. Something not controlled exclusively by the fingers and voice. If the components are integrated with the clothing, that's where the heat reduction might be important.

        I'm thinking more like the computers in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson or the visors in Counting Heads, which are kind of like ball caps with a HUD.
  • When walking around the Graphene Institute. The halls are dark and slippery.

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