Twisted Graphene helps in Making Ultra-Fast Electronics

An explosive interest was seen in the past decade, graphene a single-molecule-thick sheet of carbon atoms with amazing properties. 

Twisted Graphene helps in Making Ultra-Fast Electronics 

Despite extensive research and product development, graphene has made precious few appearances outside the laboratory. One reason for this is graphene’s extraordinary conductivity I.e. it’s simply too good or graphene has resisted efforts to control its conductivity. One of the first proposed uses for graphene was in the construction of super-fast transistors.

 As, Graphene can conduct electrons at near the speed of light — about 100 times faster than through silicon. In addition, graphene is flexible and strong, making it ideal for a variety of manufacturing processes. As we struggle to squeeze more transistors into the same area, the increased efficiency graphene could provide would be invaluable. Before that can happen, scientists must find a way to reduce graphene’s electron conduction, an absolute requirement for devices with on and off states, like transistors.

Twisted Graphene helps in Making Ultra-Fast Electronics 

As, graphene is tough to control because a single layer of graphene is so electrically efficient it is considered to have no bandgap. A bandgap is an energy range in which no electron states can exist, thus no conductivity. Semiconductors have small, but non-zero bandgaps allowing them to switch between states — zero to one — very quickly. 

When overlaying single sheets of graphene to create the bilayers needed for electronics, the researches found that tiny misalignments crop up that result in a miniscule twist in the final product. Even though the offset can be as small as 0.1 degrees, it has huge implications in the electrical properties.

Twisted Graphene helps in Making Ultra-Fast Electronics 

Spectrographic studies showed the graphene twists were generating massless Dirac fermions — electrons that behave like photons. That means they are not subject to the engineered bandgaps researchers have been trying to perfect in bilayer graphene. 

The researchers believe that having identified the subtle twisting in bilayer graphene, it will be possible to develop a better manufacturing process that prevents twisting. It won’t be easy, though. 

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Write by: RC - Saturday, August 17, 2013

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