Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have achieved a major milestone by creating the world’s first functional semiconductor from graphene, a single sheet of carbon atoms with incredibly strong bonds. This breakthrough has the potential to pave the way for smaller and faster electronic devices and could also have applications in quantum computing.
The team, led by Walter de Heer, a Regents Professor of physics at Georgia Tech, successfully developed a graphene semiconductor that is compatible with conventional microelectronics processing. This achievement comes at a critical time when silicon, the primary material used in modern electronics, is facing limitations in the context of increasingly faster computing and smaller electronic devices.
De Heer’s exploration of carbon-based materials as potential semiconductors began early in his career, and in 2001, he transitioned to 2D graphene, recognizing its potential for electronics. The team was driven by the prospect of integrating three unique properties of graphene into electronics: its exceptional durability, high flexibility and transparency, and superior electrical conductivity.
The development of a functional graphene semiconductor has the potential to revolutionize the electronics industry, offering a new approach to electronic devices as silicon nears its limits. This new technology could usher in the next generation of smaller, faster, and more efficient electronic devices.
Beyond conventional electronics, the new graphene semiconductor technology may also find applications in quantum computing. As researchers continue to explore graphene’s potential, it is likely that even more exciting applications and advancements will emerge in the near future.
The creation of the world’s first functional semiconductor made from graphene represents a significant milestone in the field of electronics. This breakthrough could lead to a new era of smaller, faster, and more efficient electronic devices, as well as potentially revolutionizing the field of quantum computing.