Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pencilling in nanocircuits

vnunet reports: [edited]

A method for making a one atom thick sheet of carbon has been developed by researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Graphite, as found in most everyday pencils, is made up of countless layers of graphene, but for years scientists battled to separate out the individual layers.

Using ordinary adhesive tape the researchers managed to obtain single strips of graphene simply by using the gentle stickiness of the tape to break apart the layers.

Graphene is a very efficient conductor, making it ideal for use in nanoelectronics, and two years of research has revealed detailed information on how the length and width of graphene directly affects the material's conduction properties.

Saroj Nayak, an associate professor in Rensselaer's Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, along with graduate student Philip Shemella and their team, have outlined their findings in the 23 July issue of Applied Physics Letters.

The size of computer chips has shrunk dramatically over the past decade, but has recently hit a bottleneck, explained Nayak.

As copper interconnects get smaller, the copper's resistance increases and its effectiveness as a conductor degrades. This increase in resistance creates heat, which can have negative effects on the speed and performance of the chip.

Because of graphene's excellent conductivity it is considered to be a possible successor to copper.

1 comment:

Taccia said...

Fascinating. Thank you.