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High-Performance Monolithic Graphene Transistors Created 99

Posted by samzenpus
from the fresh-out-of-the-lab dept.
MrSeb writes "Hardly a day goes by without a top-level research group announcing some kind of graphene-related breakthrough, but this one's a biggy: Researchers at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany have created high-performance monolithic graphene transistors using a simple lithographic etching process. This could be the missing step that finally paves the way to post-silicon electronics. In theory, according to early demos from the likes of IBM and UCLA, graphene transistors should be capable of switching at speeds between 100GHz and a few terahertz. The problem is, graphene doesn't have a bandgap — it isn't a natural semiconductor, like silicon — and so it is proving very hard to build transistors out of the stuff. Until now! The researchers say that current performance "corresponds well with textbook predictions for the cutoff frequency of a metal-semiconductor field-effect transistor," but they also point out that very simple changes could increase performance 'by a factor of ~30.'"
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High-Performance Monolithic Graphene Transistors Created

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  • Hype ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:36AM (#40695779) Journal

    ... they also point out that very simple changes could increase performance 'by a factor of ~30

     
    Excuse me but I begin to sense hype
     

  • by nosh (213252) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @05:41AM (#40695799)

    Just because graphene might became useable does not mean it will replace silicon.

    Silicon has quite some head start, so might survive the alternatives quite some time even in those use cases where alternatives are bette (just like it happened with spinning hard discs as storage medium, or explosion engines for cars).

    And likely it has quite some downsizes that make it unfit for many purposes where silicon shines. Have they for example solved the problem of graphene to always need some current? Being able to build ultra-fast chips is nice, but if there is no way to reduce power usage of parts currently usused that might make it unfit for all but nieche markets. (Well, high-performance needing nieche markets and gamer's PC most likely).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2012 @06:03AM (#40695899)

    Have they for example solved the problem of graphene to always need some current?

    They didn't.
    The active semiconductor here is SiC, the graphene is only acting as a plain conductor.
    This is as much a graphene transistor as a MOSFET is a aluminium transistor.

  • by sensei moreh (868829) on Thursday July 19, 2012 @07:34AM (#40696283)
    Why carry around log tables when you've got a slide rule? Doesn't your slide rule have an L scale?

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