For people and technologies alike, good connections are important as a bad connection can cause problems. Perhaps graphene best exemplifies this as it the material's edge, where the connections are, that determines its electrical properties. Researchers at the City College of New York have recently achieved a new kind of connection to graphene, which could prove crucial to its future use.
Graphene is an atomic-thick sheet of carbon with special electrical properties, which can be disrupted by external forces and fields. Attaching a three dimensional connector to this two dimensional material can cause such disruption, and has been proving a challenge to using graphene in technology. The New York researchers however were able to create a one dimensional connection to graphene, which had been sandwiched between layers of boron nitrite. By etching away the boron nitrite, the researchers were able to expose just the edge of the graphene, which they then evaporated metal onto, to make the connection.
When measured, the contact resistance came in at 100 ohms per micrometer, which is less than that of contacts attached to the top surface of graphene. Though graphene is the material used in this study, the technique could be applied to other 2D layered materials, including boron nitride and topological insulators.
Source: City College of New York