Graphene Monoxide Semiconductors.

Graphene-dioxideAnd, like silicon, it's semiconducting, so that electrical current can be controlled.

"Now all three characteristics of electrical conductivity – conducting, insulating and semiconducting – are found in the carbon family, offering needed compatibility for use in future electronics," says the team.

On April 11 we reported on a Japanese breakthrough in monolayer graphene likely to lead to the next generation semiconductors.  Now scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have announced the accidental discovery of graphene monoxide (GMO,)  with qualities that convert graphene to act as a semiconductor. The researchers  were conducting research into the behaviour  of a hybrid nanomaterial consisting of carbon nanotubes and tin oxide nanoparticles when they ran into  graphene monoxide by accident. The research was originally published last November in ACS Nano, but didn’t spark much excitement until this month.

As stated above, graphene now has “all three characteristics of electrical conductivity – conducting, insulating and semiconducting.” The world suddenly sat up and noticed, and with two big advances in getting to the next big thing in electronics, the geek world has been full of articles all week. Replacing silicon semiconductors with GMO ones may still be a few years off,  but in the world of electronics, scientists are now looking on it as inevitable and about to explore just exactly how to put that development to best use.

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Faster, lighter, longer ranged electric vehicles will be one improvement, with much better electrical management of the power source. But it’s in consumer electrics, most think the biggest change will come, with today’s smartphones looking like two tin cans and some string. Next decade’s phones and gadgets will probably become mobile supercomputers. Will a dinosaur like me be able to keep up?

Below just a sample of this week’s global articles.

Breakthrough could push graphene into computing use
Posted on 17 Apr 2012 at 10:55
Graphene has moved a step closer to appearing in electronics after scientists discovered a new version of the material that has benefits for computing.

According to scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, they have uncovered an entirely new carbon-based material related to graphene that can act as a semiconductor, which pure graphene cannot.

“A major drive in the graphene research community is to make the material semiconducting so it can be used in electronic applications,” says Junhong Chen, professor of mechanical engineering and a member of the research team. “Our major contribution in this study was achieved through a chemical modification of graphene.

“Now all three characteristics of electrical conductivity – conducting, insulating and semiconducting – are found in the carbon family, offering needed compatibility for use in future electronics.”

According to the scientists, the breakthrough is crucial because semiconductor qualities are needed to control the electrical current in such a strong conductor as graphene and because silicon transistors are reaching a performance barrier.

Graphene monoxide also scales up more easily than straight graphene, although the scientists admit it remains a work in progress.

Graphene Electronics Applications Get One Step Closer with New Semiconducting Variety
POSTED BY: Dexter Johnson  /  Wed, April 18, 2012

UWM discovery advances graphene-based electronics
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012  link.

Evidence of Nanocrystalline Semiconducting Graphene Monoxide during Thermal Reduction of Graphene Oxide in Vacuum

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Alessandro Bruno

About Alessandro Bruno

Alessandro Bruno holds a BA, MA. He has worked for the United Nations in Libya and specialized in Middle Eastern, African, and South American affairs. Alessandro has worked as an industry analyst, lived and worked abroad extensively and is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and French with a working knowledge of Portuguese, Arabic and German.

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