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New Findings On Graphene As a Conductor With IC Components 34

ClockEndGooner (1323377) writes Philadelphia's NPR affiliate, WHYY FM, reported today on their Newsworks program that a research team at the University of Pennsylvania have released their preliminary findings on the use of graphene as a conductor in the next generation of computer chips. From the article: "'It's very, very strong mechanically, and it is an excellent electronic material that might be used in future computer chips,' said Charlie Johnson, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. ... Future graphene transistors, Johnson said, are likely to be only tens of atoms across."
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New Findings On Graphene As a Conductor With IC Components

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  • * Graphene "miracle" Monday
    * BitCoin "scandal" Tuesday
    * Microsoft "who-cares" Wednesday
    * Apple "hipster iShiny" Thursday
    * Interesting news on Friday

    "Get off my LAN" /grumpy-old-programmer

  • by Anonymous Coward

    'It's very, very strong mechanically, and it is an excellent electronic material that might be used in future computer chips,'

    That's not even the new findings, but reading the summary, you might think so. Rather than instantly place blame on the submitter I read the writeup quoted and a better quote would've been:

    "Publishing in the journal Nano Letters, the group found that for such ribbons -- just five atoms wide -- each atom could handle approximately one microampere of current."

    Or any one of a dozen sentences from the first page of the first link....

  • It's been what, couple years since I heard of Graphene. It apparently could do anything bar French Fries... in theory.
    Any mainstream or even military implementations yet?

    Let me know when it does something, for real, in real life. So far, it kind of says in the labs.

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Monday July 28, 2014 @07:03PM (#47553787) Homepage Journal

    Except for when it comes to actually building stuff with it.

    The potential is there, obviously... but compare to how long it took to roll some up into simple tubes in an economically acceptable manner (ie, nanotubes are only just getting some actual use). I'm sure graphene as a computer component will be totally awesome -- but not until someone finds an *easy* way to build it, at most only 100X the cost of the equivalent in silicon.

    • Isolation of nanotubes (1991, Iijima) preceded isolation of graphene (2004, Geim & Novoselov) by over a decade. It's likely that the first commercial applications of graphene will be exfoliated graphite used as a component in polymer composites. It's cheap and the materials prep is straightforward and scalable. Electronics quality graphene (CVD-grown or SiC-derived epitaxial) is still fairly expensive, about $10/sqcm on Cu, though the price is plummeting as the bigger players (Samsung, IBM) get invol
  • by Goldsmith ( 561202 ) on Monday July 28, 2014 @07:47PM (#47554029)

    Well, that's a terrible summary. At least they linked to the actual paper.

    Good on Charlie for getting all this press out of the paper. This is continuation of work started when I worked in his lab (thin graphene transistors can be made with e-beam lithography, that gets you a bandgap and you can actually think about making a digital transistor, this paper has better measurements and better e-beam lithography - there now you don't have to read either of the papers).

    It's not clear that any of this stuff will ever be used as actual digital logic. I think it's more likely to see commercialization as an analog transistor in a sensor (reason #1 - no e-beam litho required). Someone from Charlie's group will likely be part of making active graphene electronics work out. He's got former students or postdocs at Intel and IBM, and there are at least two of us with graphene based startup companies. So, we're working on making graphene electronics something other than an academic curiosity.

  • Or does it seem like they keep coming up with these cool shaped molecules, then spend years tying to figure out what to do with them?

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.