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Hardware Technology

Breakthrough Grows Graphene On Silicon Substrate 60

eldavojohn writes "A new paper entitled Epitaxial Graphene on Silicon toward Graphene-Silicon Fusion Electronics published by a group of physicists at Tohoku University in Japan has demonstrated that they can grow graphene on a silicon substrate and pair that technique with conventional lithography to create a graphene-on-silicon field effect transistor. For quite sometime we've been discussing the supermaterial graphene being used like silicon improving everything from memory density to transistors. Given this demonstration, are we witnessing the start of a new era in electronics or are there more hurdles to clear before the manufacturers adopt this fabrication process and embrace graphene?"
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Breakthrough Grows Graphene On Silicon Substrate

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  • Parent is Offtopic (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2010 @10:11AM (#30980522)
    What does that have to do with graphene?
  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) on Monday February 01, 2010 @10:28AM (#30980740)

    The real breakthrough in computing will be computers that can replicate themselves.

          Wonderful. Then we won't just have other humans competing for resources, but the damned robots as well! I can see it now, a new twist on the "war against the humans" theme, not because robots decided we were inherently evil and can't be trusted - but in order to ensure their access to resources.

          But of course we humans ARE devious and crafty. I can't wait for one robot to announce: Alumino-Lent Green is made out of Robots!

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Monday February 01, 2010 @11:02AM (#30981206) Journal

    I mean isn't graphene basically unrolled carbon nano-tubes? And aren't carbon nano-tubes supposed to be very very (tensile) strong, strong enough to be considered to be usable as the raw material for a practical space elevator?

    If (as another poster claims) 30+" sheets of the stuff can be made, could this stuff (even if slightly impure and not good enough for nano-electronics) be very useful for ultra-lightweight armor, fuel tanks (for a single stage to orbit vehicle), bikeframes... even a space elevator? Or is the fact that it is only a 2D mesh of carbon atoms (as opposed to a 3D "lattice" like diamond) make it substantially weaker?

    I read somewhere that a layer of graphene a single atom thick is able to hold back 1 atm. of pressure. Isn't that roughly equivalent to a tissue paper holding back the ocean at some very deep depth (I know this is very imprecise! :)

  • by silverpig ( 814884 ) on Monday February 01, 2010 @12:35PM (#30982650)
    It's basically due to the fact you outlined: While the carbon atoms in each sheet are bonded to each other very well, the bonding between sheets is very weak. I suppose you could make "pure" graphite (although pure is not the right word), and have perfect sheets stacked on each other to make a piece of graphite similar to a phonebook, however normal graphite has little flakes of graphene all stuck together somewhat haphazardly. In terms of thickness, sure it's as you say (roughly), that you can double the strength by doubling the layers but just because something has a good tensile strength doesn't mean it is ideal for armor. I am not an armor expert by any means so I'll not comment further. Besides, there are cooler things to do with graphene than make armor :) Well my graphene researching days are over now, but I keep an eye on things due to personal interest.
  • by Cytotoxic ( 245301 ) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:32PM (#30986316)
    Because graphene is really, really slippery. Two sheets of graphene will slide over each other with very little friction. This is why you can use graphite powder as an effective dry lubricant. This is similar to the problem with using carbon nanotubes as a structural material. You have a very hard time reaching the theoretical strength of the tubes or sheets into the material as a whole because they don't bond well to anything, particularly not each other. If you could figure a way to polymerize graphene sheets with some sort of dopant, you'd sacrifice some (or a lot) of the tensile strength, but you'd still create a massively strong material.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard