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Graphene Conducts Electricity Ten Times Better Than Expected 161

ananyo writes "Physicists have produced nanoribbons of graphene — the single-atom-thick carbon — that conduct electrons better than theory predicted even for the most idealized form of the material (abstract). The finding could help graphene realize its promise in high-end electronics, where researchers have long hoped it could outperform traditional materials such as silicon. In graphene, electrons can move faster than in any other material at room temperature. But techniques that cut sheets of graphene into the narrow ribbons needed to form wires of a nano-scale circuit leave ragged edges, which disrupt the electron flow. Now a team led by physicist Walt de Heer at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta has made ribbons that conduct electric charges for more than 10 micrometres without meeting resistance — 1,000 times farther than in typical graphene nanoribbons. The ribbons made by de Heer's team in fact conduct electrons ten times better than standard theories of electron transport they should, say the authors."
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Graphene Conducts Electricity Ten Times Better Than Expected

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  • Re:fUCK BETA (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2014 @11:46AM (#46186427)

    Yes, while the name is only tentative and a better name will replace it, it is a greenlight project and has already gotten a lot of interest. DICE killed what was good about slashdot (the community) and the people have spoken, they want the old slashdot and the people are making it happen. Slashdot was FOR the people by the people and that's what project altslashdot is about.

    DICE will without a doubt go in their own direction and with that said, they don't care about its current audience but want to tailor to a broader but bigger audience. We get it, it's for the money, not for the people. Ultimately those that were around for a long time will likely want a new home which seems pretty understandable after the mistreatment. It's up to the community to decide but we'll see how it goes. Good luck dice!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:07PM (#46186653)

    Graphene has very high conductivity for what it is: a monoatomic layer. This is important in ICs where certain material thicknesses are in the nanometres. Also graphene has a very specific and uniform thickness, which solves uniformity problem when trying to deposit 1 nm material uniformly across 300 mm wafers. But when you can afford to increase the thickness (in macroscopic systems), metals become much more conductive than "macroscopic grahene," which is just regular graphite and is not so conductive. Actually graphite is used as electronic resistors and in certain heater elements (as it is conductive enough to pass large currents, but resistive enough to heat a lot by Joule effect and finally stands very well high temperatures).

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:11PM (#46186691) Homepage Journal

    The fast majority of the F*ck Beta comments are coming from ACs.

    One was mine, I don't log in or comment at work and was thrown into that mess with no way out (?&"nobeta=1" didn't work) and no way to log in.

    But yeah, many of us feared this clusterfuck would happen when a corporation bought it and Malda left. Meanwhile, slashdot's replacement is being worked on now (I registered an account this morning, user name mcgrew UID 123).

  • Re:Real question (Score:5, Informative)

    by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:26PM (#46186855)
    You are correct that using graphene [] or carbon nanotubes [] (which are close cousins) only for the wiring wouldn't gain you much; especially since large resistances can arise from the junctions between two conductors/materials.

    People are certainly investigating how to turn graphene and nanotubes into transistors. There have been demonstrations of using an applied voltage to mechanically 'kink' a nanotube so that its resistance changes. Thus it can be used as a non-volatile memory element. (The kinking is reversible and fast.) Others have looked into ways to 'dope' graphene by controlling what material it is sitting on top of (which changes its electrical properties, similar to doping atoms into silicon). Things like this can be used to make transistors out of these carbon nanomaterials; and in principle to do it in a way where the conducting carbon network is unbroken.

    Of course, the devil is in the details. We've seen demonstrations of many pieces of the puzzle, but turning it all into a technology (where you can build it all easily on a single substrate, in a scalable way, etc.) is still a ways off. But there is at least a chance these materials will pan out.

    P.S.: Don't let this comment distract from the legitimate outcry against Slashdot Beta.
  • by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:58PM (#46187163)

    Hey slashdot, keep the javascript-free version.

    It's been decades since I took solid state physics courses, but here's what I remember.

    Conducting solid, like metal, is modeled as a single monolithic entity as opposed to a set of individual elemental atoms. Each atom's high(est) energy electrons become "free" electrons that can move about the whole solid with minimum provocation (i.e., voltage). So when electric field or voltage is applied across the solid, these free electrons bunch up towards positive charge - i.e. the "skin" you referred to.

    Because, you know, electrons have a negative charge. Haha.

    So when voltage is applied to the solid, and there is a route out of the solid towards positive charge, the free electrons will move that way. If there is also a route into the solid through which new (to the solid) electrons move in, then you have a circuit where electrons flow in and out of the solid (as you say) along the skin, and hence you have current.

    That's what I remember of the simple version of solid state model that look at solid's free electrons as a group. Because the free electrons are treated as a group, it doesn't deal with whether the electron that just popped out are new (to the solid) one or the last one in line - the model doesn't give individuality to each electrons.

    Not sure it answers your question adequately, but that's what popped into my head. Maybe others will do a more proper job.

    Like I was saying, KEEP THE JAVASCRIPT-FREE SLASHDOT, you dirtbags! :-)

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