Silicon transistors are reaching a performance barrier
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.
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