Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > European collaboration makes breakthrough in developing super-material graphene

Abstract:
A collaborative research project has brought the world a step closer to producing a new material on which future nanotechnology could be based. Researchers across Europe, including the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL), have demonstrated how an incredible material, graphene, could hold the key to the future of high-speed electronics, such as micro-chips and touchscreen technology.

European collaboration makes breakthrough in developing super-material graphene

UK | Posted on January 19th, 2010

Graphene has long shown potential, but has previously only been produced on a very small scale, limiting how well it could be measured, understood and developed. A paper published on the 17th January, in Nature Nanotechnology explains how researchers have, for the first time, produced graphene to a size and quality where it can be practically developed, and successfully measured its electrical characteristics. These significant breakthroughs overcome two of the biggest barriers to scaling up the technology.

A technology for the future

Graphene is a relatively new form of carbon made up of a single layer of atoms arranged in a honeycomb shaped lattice. Despite being one atom thick and chemically simple, graphene's is extremely strong and highly conductive, making it ideal for high-speed electronics, photonics and beyond.

Graphene is a strong candidate to replace semiconductor chips. Moore's Law observes that the density of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years, but silicon and other existing transistor materials are thought to be close to the minimum size where they can remain effective. Graphene transistors can potentially run at faster speeds and cope with higher temperatures. Graphene could be the solution to ensuring computing technology to continue to grow in power whilst shrinking in size, extending the life of Moore's law by many years.

Large microchip manufacturers such as IBM and Intel have openly expressed interest in the potential of graphene as a material on which future computing could be based.

Graphene also has potential for exciting new innovations such as touchscreen technology, LCD displays and solar cells. Its unparalleled strength and transparency make it perfect for these applications, and its conductivity would offers a dramatic increase in efficiency on existing materials.

Growing to a usable size while maintaining quality

Until now graphene of sufficient quality has only been produced in the form of small flakes of tiny fractions of a millimeter, using painstaking methods such as peeling layers off graphite crystals with sticky tape. Producing useable electronics requires much larger areas of material to be grown. This project saw researchers, for the first time, produce and successfully operate a large number of electronic devices from a sizable area of graphene layers (approximately 50 mm2).

The graphene sample, was produced epitaxially - a process of growing one crystal layer on another - on silicon carbide. Having such a significant sample not only proves that it can be done in a practical, scalable way, but also allowed the scientists to better understand important properties.

Measuring resistance

The second key breakthrough of the project was measuring graphene's electrical characteristics with unprecedented precision, paving the way for convenient and accurate standards to be established. For products such as transistors in computers to work effectively and be commercially viable, manufacturers must be able to make such measurements with incredible accuracy against an agreed international standard.

The international standard for electrical resistance is provided by the Quantum Hall Effect, a phenomenon whereby electrical properties in 2D materials can be determined based only on fundamental constants of nature.

The effect has, until now, only been demonstrated with sufficient precision in a small number of conventional semiconductors. Furthermore, such measurements need temperatures close to absolute zero, combined with very strong magnetic fields, and only a few specialised laboratories in the world can achieve these conditions.

Graphene was long tipped to provide an even better standard, but samples were inadequate to prove this. By producing samples of sufficient size and quality, and accurately demonstrate Hall resistance, the team proved that graphene has the potential to supersede conventional semiconductors on a mass scale.

Furthermore graphene shows the Quantum Hall Effect at much higher temperatures. This means the graphene resistance standard could be used much more widely as more labs can achieve the conditions required for its use. In addition to its advantages of operating speed and durability, this would also speed the production and reduce costs of future electronics technology based on graphene

Prof Alexander Tzalenchuk from NPL's Quantum Detection Group and the lead author on the Nature Nanotechnology paper observes: "It is truly sensational that a large area of epitaxial graphene demonstrated not only structural continuity, but also the degree of perfection required for precise electrical measurements on par with conventional semiconductors with a much longer development history."

Where now?

The research team isn't content to leave it there. They are hoping to go on to demonstrate even more precise measurement, as well as accurate measurement at even higher temperatures. They are currently seeking EU funding to drive this forward.

Dr JT Janssen, an NPL Fellow who worked on the project, said: "We've laid the groundwork for the future of graphene production, and will strive in our ongoing research to provide greater understanding of this exciting material. The challenge for industry in the coming years will be to scale the material up in a practical way to meet new technology demands. We have taken a huge step forward, and once the manufacturing processes are in place, we hope graphene will offer the world a faster and cheaper alternative to conventional semiconductors".

The research was a joint project carried by the National Physical Laboratory; Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden; Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Linköping University, Sweden and Lancaster University, UK. Measurement was carried out by the Quantum Detection Group at the UK's at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, UK.


Notes to Editors

The Nature Paper Can be viewed here dx.doi.org/10.1038/NNANO.2009.474

Technical detail

The sample was grown epitaxially by removing all silicon atoms in a controlled way from a single surface layer of silicon carbide and allowing the remaining carbon to form the nearly ideal graphene monolayer. The next step was to use standard microfabrication techniques, such as the electron beam lithography and reactive ion etching, to produce devices ranging in lateral size from a few micrometers (1 micrometer = 0.001 mm) to hundreds of micrometers and still only one carbon atom thick. All devices measured so far showed the desired electronic characteristics.

The Quantum Hall Effect

This appears where an electric current flows through a two dimensional material in a perpendicular magnetic field and the voltage in the material is measured perpendicular to both the current flow and the field. Within certain periodic intervals of field, the ratio of this transverse voltage to the current, known as the Hall resistance, is determined only by a known combination of fundamental constants of nature - the Planck's constant h and the electron charge e.

Because of this universality, the Quantum Hall effect provides the basis for the resistance standard in principle independent of a particular sample, material or measurement setup.

The Quantum Hall effect has, until now, only been accurately demonstrated with sufficient precision in a small number of conventional semiconductors, such as Si and group III-V heterostructures. Because of its unique electronic structure, graphene was long tipped to provide an even better standard, but the small size of graphene flakes and insufficient quality of early graphene films did not allow accurate measurements to be performed.

####

About National Physical Laboratory
The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is one of the UK's leading science facilities and research centres. It is a world-leading centre of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate standards, science and technology available.

NPL occupies a unique position as the UK's National Measurement Institute and sits at the intersection between scientific discovery and real world application. Its expertise and original research have underpinned quality of life, innovation and competitiveness for UK citizens and business for more than a century.

Contacts:
David Lewis

084-568-01865

Copyright © Eurekalert

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

How to maximize the superconducting critical temperature in a molecular superconductor: International team led by Tohoku University opens new route for discovering high Tc superconductors April 19th, 2015

Engineer improves rechargeable batteries with MoS2 nano 'sandwich' April 18th, 2015

Nanocomposites Play Effective Role in Production of Smart Fibers April 18th, 2015

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors: Company's Newest Director Brings Expertise in Commercial and Legal Matters Both in the United States and China; Joins on the Heels of Successful Business Development Trade Mission to China April 18th, 2015

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

QD Vision Expands Product Line with Two-Millimeter Color LCD Display Optic: Color IQ™ Optic Enables Full-Color Gamut for Ultra-Thin Displays and All-in-One Computers April 16th, 2015

Light in a spin: Researchers demonstrate angular accelerating light April 15th, 2015

Roll up your screen and stow it away? Tel Aviv University researchers develop molecular backbone of super-slim, bendable digital displays March 30th, 2015

Solving molybdenum disulfide's 'thin' problem: Research team increases material's light emission by twelve times March 29th, 2015

Possible Futures

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill: By coupling photons to atoms, light in a glass fiber can be slowed down to the speed of an express train; for a short while it can even be brought to a complete stop April 9th, 2015

Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market is expected to reach $8.5 Billion by 2019 March 25th, 2015

Nanotechnology Enabled Drug Delivery to Influence Future Diagnosis and Treatments of Diseases March 21st, 2015

Nanocomposites Market Growth, Industry Outlook To 2020 by Grand View Research, Inc. March 21st, 2015

Chip Technology

Nanotubes with two walls have singular qualities: Rice University lab calculates unique electronic qualities of double-walled carbon nanotubes April 16th, 2015

Graphenea embarks on a new era April 16th, 2015

Quantization of 'surface Dirac states' could lead to exotic applications April 15th, 2015

Study shows novel pattern of electrical charge movement through DNA April 14th, 2015

Nanoelectronics

Nanotubes with two walls have singular qualities: Rice University lab calculates unique electronic qualities of double-walled carbon nanotubes April 16th, 2015

Solution-grown nanowires make the best lasers April 14th, 2015

Water makes wires even more nano: Rice University lab extends meniscus-mask process to make sub-10 nanometer paths April 6th, 2015

Demonstration of 50GHz Ge Waveguide Electro-Absorption Modulator April 2nd, 2015

Announcements

How to maximize the superconducting critical temperature in a molecular superconductor: International team led by Tohoku University opens new route for discovering high Tc superconductors April 19th, 2015

Iranian Foodstuff, Agricultural Industries Welcome Nanotechnology Packaging Bags April 18th, 2015

Nanocomposites Play Effective Role in Production of Smart Fibers April 18th, 2015

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors: Company's Newest Director Brings Expertise in Commercial and Legal Matters Both in the United States and China; Joins on the Heels of Successful Business Development Trade Mission to China April 18th, 2015

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

How to maximize the superconducting critical temperature in a molecular superconductor: International team led by Tohoku University opens new route for discovering high Tc superconductors April 19th, 2015

Engineer improves rechargeable batteries with MoS2 nano 'sandwich' April 18th, 2015

Optical resonance-based biosensors designed for medical applications April 18th, 2015

Nanocomposites Play Effective Role in Production of Smart Fibers April 18th, 2015

Alliances/Partnerships/Distributorships

How can you see an atom? (video) April 10th, 2015

FibeRio and VF Corporation Form Strategic Partnership to Lead the Apparel and Footwear Markets in Nanofiber Technology April 8th, 2015

UK National Graphene Institute Selects Bruker as Official Partner: World-Leading Graphene Research Facility Purchases Multiple Bruker AFMs April 7th, 2015

NXP and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announce Production of 40nm Embedded Non-Volatile Memory Technology: Co-developed technology to leverage GLOBALFOUNDRIES 40nm process technology platform March 24th, 2015

Solar/Photovoltaic

The microscopic topography of ink on paper: Researchers have analyzed the varying thickness of printed toner in unprecedented 3-D detail, yielding insights that could lead to higher quality, less expensive and more environmentally-friendly glossy and non-glossy papers April 14th, 2015

Graphene pushes the speed limit of light-to-electricity conversion: Researchers from ICFO, MIT and UC Riverside have been able to develop a graphene-based photodetector capable of converting absorbed light into an electrical voltage at ultrafast timescales April 14th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use Ultrasound Waves to Produce Fullerene April 9th, 2015

Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance: Scientists at Japan's Kyushu University say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications March 30th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE