Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Researchers cast #graphene into #quantum dots

Carbon chips herald the day when silicon chips run out of steam circa 2020, offering a migration path to ever higher performance electronics using quantum dots like the researchers propose here. Look for graphene quantum dot to enable sensor, semiconductors and optical communications by the end of the decade. R.C.J.

Graphene quantum dots could enable single-molecule sensors and could lead to ultra-small transistors and on-chip communications with semiconductor lasers, according to Rice University researchers who recently revealed their plans to create these ultra-small wells. Quantum dots are vacancies (wells) that can confine excitons—bound electron-hole pairs—in a semiconductor to achieve properties that are superior to those of bulk materials. The Rice University researchers have added a new twist—leaving a single layer of carbon in the bottom of the well...Next the researchers want to...adjust the band gap of devices by changing the size of the dot, thereby tuning its properties for specific applications such as chemical sensors, solar cells, medical imagers and nanoscale circuits.
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