Scientists have leaped over a major hurdle in efforts to begin commercial
production of a form of carbon that could rival silicon in its potential for
revolutionizing electronics devices ranging from supercomputers to cell phones.
Called graphene, the material consists of a layer of graphite 50,000 times thinner
than a human hair with unique electronic properties. Their study appears in
Letters, a monthly journal.
Victor Aristov and colleagues indicate that graphene has the potential to replace
silicon in high-speed computer processors and other devices. Standing in the
way, however, are today's cumbersome, expensive production methods, which result
in poor-quality graphene and are not practical for industrial scale applications.
Aristov and colleagues report that they have developed "a very simple
procedure for making graphene on the cheap." They describe growing high-quality
graphene on the surface of commercially available silicon carbide wafers to
produce material with excellent electronic properties. It "represents a
huge step toward technological application of this material as the synthesis
is compatible with industrial mass production," their report notes.
ARTICLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Graphene Synthesis on Cubic SiC/Si Wafers. Perspectives for Mass Production
of Graphene-Based Electronic Devices"
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Posted June 9th, 2010