Navigation Links
Researching graphene nanoelectronics for a post-silicon world
Date:11/10/2011

Troy, N.Y. Copper's days are numbered, and a new study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could hasten the downfall of the ubiquitous metal in smart phones, tablet computers, and nearly all electronics. This is good news for technophiles who are seeking smaller, faster devices.

As new generations of computer chips continue to shrink in size, so do the copper pathways that transport electricity and information around the labyrinth of transistors and components. When these pathwayscalled interconnectsgrow smaller, they become less efficient, consume more power, and are more prone to permanent failure.

To overcome this hurdle, industry and academia are vigorously researching new candidates to succeed traditional copper as the material of choice for interconnects on computer chips. One promising candidate is graphene, an atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged like a nanoscale chicken-wire fence. Prized by researchers for its unique properties, graphene is essentially a single layer of the graphite found commonly in our pencils or the charcoal we burn on our barbeques.

Led by Rensselaer Professor Saroj Nayak, a team of researchers discovered they could enhance the ability of graphene to transmit electricity by stacking several thin graphene ribbons on top of one another. The study, published in the journal ACS Nano, brings industry closer to realizing graphene nanoelectronics and naming graphene as the heir apparent to copper.

"Graphene shows enormous potential for use in interconnects, and stacking up graphene shows a viable way to mass produce these structures," said Nayak, a professor in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy at Rensselaer. "Cooper's limitations are apparent, as increasingly smaller copper interconnects suffer from sluggish electron flows that results in hotter, less reliable devices. Our new study makes a case for the possibility that stacks of graphene ribbons could have what it takes to be used as interconnects in integrated circuits."

The study, based on large-scale quantum simulations, was conducted using the Rensselaer Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), one of the world's most powerful university-based supercomputers.

Copper interconnects suffer from a variety of unwanted problems, which grow more prominent as the size of the interconnects shrink. Electrons travel through the copper nanowires sluggishly and generate intense heat. As a result, the electrons "drag" atoms of copper around with them. These misplaced atoms increase the copper wire's electrical resistance, and degrade the wire's ability to transport electrons. This means fewer electrons are able to pass through the copper successfully, and any lingering electrons are expressed as heat. This heat can have negative effects on both a computer chip's speed and performance.

It is generally accepted that a quality replacement for traditional copper must be discovered and perfected in the next five to 10 years in order to further perpetuate Moore's Lawan industry mantra that states the number of transistors on a computer chip, and thus the chip's speed, should double every 18 to 24 months.

Nayak's recent work, published in the journal ACS Nano, is titled "Effect of Layer Stacking on the Electronic Structure of Graphene Nanoribbons." When cut into nanoribbons, graphene is known to exhibit a band gapan energy gap between the valence and conduction bandswhich is an unattractive property for interconnects. The new study shows that stacking the graphene nanoribbons on top of each other, however, could significantly shrink this band gap. The study may be viewed online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn200941u

"The optimal thickness is a stack of four to six layers of graphene," said Neerav Kharche, first author of the study and a computational scientist at CCNI. "Stacking more layers beyond this thickness doesn't reduce the band gap any further."

The end destination, Nayak said, is to one day manufacture microprocessorsboth the interconnects and the transistorsentirely out of graphene. This game-changing goal, called monolithic integration, would mean the end of the long era of copper interconnects and silicon transistors.

"Such an advance is likely still many years into the future, but it will certainly revolutionize the way nearly all computers and electronics are designed and manufactured," Nayak said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Graphene pioneers follow in Nobel footsteps
2. New graphene-based material clarifies graphite oxide chemistry
3. Researchers discover method for mass production of nanomaterial graphene
4. Light-speed nanotech: Controlling the nature of graphene
5. Scientists prove graphenes edge structure affects electronic properties
6. Graphene yields secrets to its extraordinary properties
7. Graphene may have advantages over copper for IC interconnects at the nanoscale
8. Bilayer graphene gets a bandgap
9. Material world: Graphenes versatility promises new applications
10. UCR scientists manipulate ripples in graphene, enabling strain-based graphene electronics
11. Researchers design new graphene-based, nano-material with magnetic properties
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researching graphene nanoelectronics for a post-silicon world
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has ... (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs ... professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer ... care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased ... of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are ... - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 ... for the treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give it exclusive global ... technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Additionally, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/16/2017)... DALLAS , May 16, 2017   ... for health organizations, and MD EMR Systems ... certified development partner for GE, have established a ... Patient Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, ... Centricity EMR. These new integrations ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... Florida , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, ... technology company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on ... and Exchange Commission. ... on Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of ... as on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... No two people are believed to ... York University Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan ... partial similarities between prints are common enough that ... and other electronic devices can be more vulnerable ... in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems feature ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):