Building Bilayer Graphene for Future Electronics
It can be quite frustrating when you have two points you want to connect, but lack the path between them. One example of this is having two technologies you want to combine, but need to first develop a third. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Rice University have recently discovered a technology that may connect bilayer graphene with ultra-low power electronics.
Graphene is an atom thick sheet of carbon with many special properties, including extraordinary electrical conductivity. For this reason, many would like to see it used in electronics, but it lacks a band-gap, making it useless as a semiconductor. Bilayer graphene however, which is, as the name suggests, two layers of graphene stacked together can be made to have a band gap by creating a potential difference between the layers. The researchers developed a way to quickly synthesis bilayer graphene to form double-gate field-effect transistors. The double gate is crucial as it is what allows the two graphene layers to have a band gap.
The researchers grew the bilayer graphene on an alloy surface, covering almost all of the nine square-inch area in a matter of minutes. When tested the transistors demonstrated great electron mobility, indicating that what was grown was of high quality, making it potential ideal for future electronics.