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New Graphene Research Promises Reliable Chip-Level Production 26

An anonymous reader writes "A research team from the University of Texas and a German nanotechnology company have published a paper which describes a major milestone for the future of graphene-based computing – the reliable production of wafer-scale graphene measuring between 100 and 300mm, suitable at last for integration with 'traditional' materials in computing. The research team was able to manufacture 25,000 graphene field-effect transistors from lab-produced graphene film on a polycrystalline copper base. Team research leader Deji Akinwande said: 'Our process is based on the scalable concept of growing graphene on copper-coated silicon substrates...Once we had developed a suitable method for growing high-quality graphene with negligible numbers of defects in small sample sizes, it was relatively straightforward for us to scale up.'"(Original, paywalled paper is at ACS Nano.)
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New Graphene Research Promises Reliable Chip-Level Production

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 26, 2014 @11:07PM (#48007471)
    I wonder if this will help me 3D print a drone? I was originally going to use Raspberry Pi, but might use a graphene based product instead. I would like to start a delivery service which accepts bitcoin as payment for Apple products.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by NoKaOi ( 1415755 )

      I wonder if this will help me 3D print a drone? I was originally going to use Raspberry Pi, but might use a graphene based product instead. I would like to start a delivery service which accepts bitcoin as payment for Apple products.

      I think you could do it, but you'll need to use nanotechnology.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by CajunArson ( 465943 )

      Can't decide... legitimate troll or bot designed to get +1 votes by vomiting buzzwords and hoping for the best...

      • It's legitimate satire. His "business plan" would be possible to implement before graphene even comes close to fulfilling its "promise". Not saying graphene doesn't have the potential, it's just that sort of thing takes way longer than journalists are allowed by their editors to admit.

  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Friday September 26, 2014 @11:19PM (#48007505) Journal

    The non-paywalled article includes some hilarious zingers like "the material also has extraordinary semiconductive properties which could revolutionise the issue of cooling in data centres."

    If by "extraodinary" you mean: No bandgap unless you are really doctoring the graphene with other materials, then sure since "ordinary" semiconductors have bandgaps.

    Not sure how transistors that can't be turned off will help in cooling data centers, but who knows what revolutions lurk in future press releases!

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday September 27, 2014 @01:28AM (#48007759)

      No bandgap unless you are really doctoring the graphene with other materials

      Bilayer graphene has a bandgap, and the bandgap can be tuned by applying a voltage, applying strain, etc. Graphene is not a drop in replacement for silicon, and a lot of work needs to be done before it shows up in commercial products. But it has some very interesting properties, and may eventually replace most silicon electronics.

      Not sure how transistors that can't be turned off will help in cooling data centers

      Well, I don't know about "cooling data centers", but it should result in cooler semiconductors. Graphene conducts heat better than silicon, and if it is built on a copper substrate, with just a few carbon atoms separating the heat generation from the copper, it should be much easier to dissipate heat. That means it can either run cooler, or run much faster.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Graphene semi-conductors can run both cooler and much, much faster from what I've seen. There are also different substrates to grow it on, which one will be best is a question.

        But there's little question that Graphene could well replace silicon for processors soon enough. Between much higher electron mobility, and thus much higher clockspeeds, better quantum tunneling behavior than silicon allowing Moore's law to continue beyond 7nm feature size, and the seemingly endless interest in the material from corpo

        • by smaddox ( 928261 )

          It is difficult to imagine how graphene could replace silicon CMOS when the best lab MOSFETs can't even compete with mass produced Si MOSFETs. High mobility doesn't matter when the off-state leakage current is a couple orders of magnitude higher than in Si. There are interesting theoretical proposals for bi-layer graphene switches which could compete (e.g. BiSFET), but no experimental demonstration that I'm aware of.

    • I'm reasonably familiar with the technologies currently used in the chip making process (and always walk away impressed with what they can do), but I don't see how graphene is that superior of a material? What advantages does it really have? A smaller lattice? Can other known materials used in the chip making process truly use a smaller lattice or are we running up against the end here? Or is it just that its lattice has 6 atoms instead of 4 that is has the advantage for trying to put in more transistors

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I am not sold on wafer-scale until they make it web-scale

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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