As famously known Graphene is one of the world's thinnest electronic nanomaterials, and holds great promise as a 'wonder material' with applications ranging from flexible touch screens to super fast circuitry. It is such interest, which led an IBM research team to build the world's most advanced, fully integrated circuit made of wafer scale Graphene. The Graphene circuitry is 10,000 times better performing than previously reported efforts.
The IBM research team has managed to demonstrate the potential to improve today's wireless devices communication speed, and help lead the way in terms of Carbon (C) based electronic and circuitry applications, which is certainly beyond today's Silicon (Si) chips. Integrating Graphene radio frequency (RF) devices into today's low cost Si technology could also be a way to enable pervasive wireless communications, such as smart sensors and/or RFID tags to send data signals at significant distances.
What is Graphene?
Typically Graphene is described as a single layer of C atoms packed into a honeycomb structure. It also has electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal properties, which make it well suited for wireless and/or RF communication systems.
Future circuitry built on Graphene could allow all forms of mobile devices to transmit data much faster, in a more cost-effective manner, when compared today's Si based chips. For instance, the circuitry built for wireless receivers consumes less than 20 mW power to operate, whilst also demonstrating the highest conversion gain of any Graphene RF circuitry at multiple GHz frequencies.
Fabrication techniques which led to a truly integrated circuit is very challenging, because it is easy to damage a sheet of Graphene during the fabrication flow of conventional integrated circuits. Therefore, since it was demonstrated that an analoge Graphene integrated circuit could be build with a broadband frequency mixer, Proof-of-Concept in 2011, then it was shown that a Graphene transistor performance was gradually degraded due to the harsh fabrication processes.
The IBM research team decided to turn their process around - in other words by completely reversing the conventional Si integrated circuit fabrication flow, thus, leaving behind Graphene transistors as the final step of an integrated circuit fabrication process. Such a process ensured that for the first time Graphene devices and circuitry could perform modern wireless communication functions, which is comparable to Si technology. Original article available here
Please Note the results for the research, above, were published in Nature Communications 2014.
As with other IBM research, the future potential of nano fabrication techniques has been smartly sold. As stated previously, DCN Corp strongly believes it can supersede, by providing a more efficient nano controlling process. Going forward, if you and/or your colleagues are interested in making DCN Corp's alternative process reality - please ensure to contact the company as soon as practicably possible.