Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Carbon transistors could outperform the fastest chip materials, including indium antimonide, according to researchers at the University of Maryland. The College Park team recently characterized graphene monolayers, sheets of pure carbon just one atom thick. They discovered that graphene appears to be unphased by temperature, unlike most semiconductors. Usually, speed--called electron mobility--is proportional to temperature (the colder the better since fewer lattice vibrations, called phonons, can scatter flowing electrons). Instead, pure graphene transistors appear able to achieve their maximum possible speed at room temperature, according to the researchers, if chip makers choose the right substrate.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 6:37 AM