Friday, October 15, 2010

#CHIPS Carbon Microchips Accelerate Beyond Silicon

Pioneering engineering efforts at Georgia Tech are bringing carbon microchips closer to commercialization by fabricating pure carbon sheets—graphene—into the world's largest carbon-transistor array. Look for carbon microchips to begin replacing silicon CMOS chips in five to seven years. RColinJohnson, Kyoto Prize Fellow, @NextGenLog
Georgia Tech's new "templated growth" technique forces graphene sheets (black hexagons) to crystallize on contoured edges on a silicon carbide substrate (source: Georgia Tech).

After the graphene transistor channel is grown, conventional lithography can add a insulating dielectric and gate on top with the source and drain electrodes (gold) at each end of the channel (source: Georgia Tech). 
 Here is what Smarter Technology says about carbon microchips: Researchers around the world are inventing ways to harness carbon—an organic material—to build smaller, faster microchips that sidestep the looming problems with inorganic silicon, which is becoming increasingly difficult to fabricate at the atomic level. IBM, for instance, recently demonstrated how to fabricate field-effect transistors (FETs) by smoothing out carbon into atomically thin sheets, called graphene.
Now the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) has advanced graphene one more step by inventing a "templated growth" technique for fabricating what they claim is the world's largest array of organic carbon-based graphene transistors.
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