Friday, May 15, 2009
Carbon--the same element on which life is based--will become the successor to silicon for integrated circuits. Graphene is the most semiconductor-friendly version of carbon, because is can be fabricated in two-dimensional sheets like silicon, although nanotubes and 3D diamond structures are also possible with carbon. Its still early to predict just when, but look for carbon to replace silicon in about 10 years. R.C.J.
Pure layers of carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice, also known as graphene, promises to become the successor to both silicon and gallium arsenide circuitry. Among its advantage are superior electron mobility, the ability to transport both electrons (like silicon) and holes (like gallium arsenide) and the prediction that graphene charge carriers move at a speed independent of their energy. While some theoretical predictions for graphene have been confirmed, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Georgia Tech claim to have experimental proof using a new measurement device.
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 10:21 AM