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Nascent Graphene Institute Makes Steps Toward Transistors

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the bringing-the-horizon-a-bit-closer dept.

United Kingdom 22

judgecorp writes "A research team at Manchester has taken a big step toward building transistors with graphene. So far graphene's marvelous conductivity has actually proved a drawback, but the team has sandwiched a layer of molybdenum disulfide between layers of graphene to provide a high on/off ratio. Also, the British Government is finding £50 million to fund Manchester as a center for graphene study and development, led by two professors there, Sir Kostya Novoselov and Sir Andre Geim, who shared the 2010 Nobel prize for Physics for their work on graphene."

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22 comments

Primer post (1)

cbaderivado (1880170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38945837)

So...are we a step closer to find graphene-based life form or not?

Re:Primer post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38946015)

If we can make a graphene-circuit printer that has graphene-circuitry and all the specs/mechanisms neccessary to build a copy of itself, maybe.

I like the potential discussed in the actual article, low power use touchscreens and a fairly big leap in CPU size/efficency. I've been interested in the tube form of carbon for a while, but it looks like this stuff shares a few of the advantages and is easier to produce.

Down with America (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38945843)

n/t

Re:Down with America (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38945981)

n/t

Thanks for the courtesy of the "n/t".

Re:Down with America (5, Funny)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#38946079)

He didn't even bother to initialize the variables. I sure hope t != 0.

Re:Down with America (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38955311)

n/t

Thanks for the courtesy of the "n/t".

I get the image of a scared teenager in the Midwest writing this, then remembering that his mom always told him to follow netiquette.

Re:Down with America (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38946337)

No worries - between the majority of the republicans going off the deep end and Obama getting all the so-called 'progressives' to accept reduced civil liberties and continuous warfare in exchange for 'healthcare', we're doing a pretty good job of it ourselves.

Re:Down with America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38946785)

Thanks

Three atoms thick glass, as an insulator? (5, Informative)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38945977)

"Researchers have created the world's thinnest pane of glass—and it looks oddly familiar. The glass, made of silicon and oxygen, formed accidentally when the scientists were making graphene, an atom-thick sheet of carbon, on copper-covered quartz. They believe an air leak caused the copper to react with the quartz, which is also made of silicon and oxygen, producing a glass layer with the graphene. The glass is a mere three atoms thick—the minimum thickness of silica glass—which makes it two-dimensional. [...] In addition to demonstrating how graphene makes it possible to produce previously unfeasible 2D-materials, ultra-thin glass could be used in semiconductor or graphene transistors."

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/02/scienceshot-two-dimensional-glass.html [sciencemag.org]

How about three atoms thick glass as an insulator between graphene layers?

Re:Three atoms thick glass, as an insulator? (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38946521)

It may be worth looking into, but I have a suspicion that quartz has a higher capacitance than Mo. Again, I am not an expert in this area, but I think a transistor wants a pretty low capacitance so it can be driven from on to off (or off to on) without too much hassle. It seems that a higher capacitance would make for a slower transistor due to charge drain.

Re:Three atoms thick glass, as an insulator? (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38947563)

It depends on what you're using the device for. High capacitance can be very useful for things like power storage (and, if the leakage current is low enough, memory). You're right that you don't want it in the logic circuits though.

UK !! UK !! UK !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38946049)

Bout time them blokes did something useful this century !! Can't even let a gay guy slide, no matter if he won them the war or not !!

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38946095)

Intel coincidentally also achieves milestone in creation of graphene-based transistor for use in their next gen CPUs... oh wait hang on, the Manchester team hasn't completed all the work yet... retract news statement.

In other (predicted) news...

When Manchester team achieves everything that Intel can't be fucked funding, Intel coincidentally "discovers" graphene-based transistors.

Gotta love government R&D funding... we're privileged to pay for tech development twice over; once as a tax-payer and then again as a consumer.

Wearable Computers (3, Insightful)

jpwilliams (2430348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38946395)

I'm wondering if the mentioned heat reduction would be enough to make wearable computers more plausible and usable then they are today ...

Re:Wearable Computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38946567)

Last I remember on the cyber-pants theory was that power consumption and component vulnerability were bigger obstacles than heat dissipation. This has the potential to improve power efficiency, but I am not sure how it affects fragility.

Re:Wearable Computers (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 2 years ago | (#38946591)

What exactly about todays portable computers (cell phones) do you find underpowered to use it as a wearable?

We've reached the golden age of wearables. Nearly everybody who wants one can have one. The interface sucks but that isn't the fault of the hardware.

A massive improvement in battery capacity would be nice though I can use my Nexus S for a full day (I use it as a portable data-entry device) with 4 extra AAA batteries.

Re:Wearable Computers (1)

jpwilliams (2430348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38947817)

I guess a mobile is almost like a wearable computer. I'm picturing something that's actually integrated with clothing or, extremely, the body. Something not controlled exclusively by the fingers and voice. If the components are integrated with the clothing, that's where the heat reduction might be important.

I'm thinking more like the computers in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson or the visors in Counting Heads, which are kind of like ball caps with a HUD.

fiddlesticks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38946451)

time o ye' to shanker off the 'ole wankers in manchester, aye? graphen be a producin 'er!

something between a pirate and brit, not sure where to go from here...

Re:fiddlesticks (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#38955345)

Fuck me, Dick van Dyke posts on slashdot.

Other limitations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38947669)

It's nice to see this future technology that promises insane clock frequencies, but it seems like it would quickly arrive at a different problem...
At the proposed maximum of 300 Ghz (in the old FA), light only travels about 1 mm per cycle... In a vacuum.
Electrons would travel significantly slower, depending on the materials and architecture used. What happens when your clock frequency runs so much faster than the signal itself?

I propose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38948853)

that these incrnations be known as gransistors to hight light the technology, or mansisters to hight light their birth city.

Be Careful... (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38950307)

When walking around the Graphene Institute. The halls are dark and slippery.

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