EDITOR: | January 23rd, 2013

Graphene – Another 2-D Breakthrough

| January 23, 2013 | No Comments
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Image of 2D graphene from Phys.org articleScientists at CSIRO and RMIT University have produced a new two-dimensional material that could revolutionise the electronics market.

Researchers down under in continent sized Australia, have managed to combine layers of crystal molybdenum-oxide with graphene to create a new two-dimensional super-conductive nano-material that has unique properties that encourage the free flow of electrons at ultra-high speeds, according to research published earlier this month in the science journal Advanced Materials. Graphene, is a form of carbon made up of a single layer of carbon atoms in a tight hexagonal arrangement. Researchers at Penn State University last year showed promise with two-dimensional boron nitride-graphene, but this new combination is claimed to allow the electrons to pass through at higher speeds with minimal scattering.

“The importance of our breakthrough is how quickly and fluently electrons – which conduct electricity – are able to flow through the new material.” CSIRO’s Dr Zhuiykov said.

Graphene on its own is/was often touted as being the new silicon for the next generation of microchips. But graphene lacks  a natural band gap, needed to be able to switch microchips on and off, and must be manipulated into generating an artificial band gap, or it would remain in a useless for microchips, constant on or constant off form. Two-dimensional graphene materials research, is believed will provide the Holy Grail of getting to the next generation of superfast graphene based microchips that will replace the existing generation of fast silicon based chips.

Graphene was created in 2004 by  Novoselov and Geim, and won its inventors a Nobel Prize in 2010. Dimensionality, according to  Novoselov and Geim, is one of the most defining material parameters and can give rise to dramatically different properties according to whether the material structure is 0-D, 1-D, 2-D or 3-D.

RMIT’s Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh said the researchers were able to remove “road blocks” that could obstruct the electrons, an essential step for the development of high-speed electronics.

“Instead of scattering when they hit road blocks, as they would in conventional materials, they can simply pass through this new material and get through the structure faster,” Professor Kalantar-zadeh said.

New 2D material for next generation high-speed electronics
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The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
CSIRO is one of the largest and most diverse scientific institutions in the world with more than 6400 staff located across 56 sites throughout Australia and overseas.
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RMIT
RMIT is a global university of technology and design and Australia’s largest tertiary institution. The University enjoys an international reputation for excellence in practical education and outcome-oriented research.
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