This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

Boats, planes and graphene?

de heer.JPG

By Hamish Johnston at the APS March Meeting in Dallas

Will graphene replace silicon as the material of choice for electronics? Many folks have been asking that question since graphene became the latest “wonder material”.

Walter de Heer of the Georgia Institute of Technology answered the question with the above slide.

Just as people and goods are moved by both ships and aeroplanes, De Heer believes that there will be a place for both materials in the future.

While many physicists are trying to develop conventional transistors that use graphene as the semiconductor – essentially replacing silicon – De Heer believes that the wonder material could be used in devices that take advantage of the fact that current is quantized in very narrow ribbons of graphene. This means that quantum interference effects at junctions between ribbons could be used to switch current on and off.

Such transistors would be fundamentally different from conventional devices and immediately made me think of quantum-computing applications. This is possible in principle, according to De Heer, but couldn’t be done at room temperature. This is because the coherence lengths of the devices would be too short – although long enough to achieve switching at junctions.

However, if the junctions were cooled down, the coherence lengths could be long enough for quantum computing. Indeed, De Heer believes that ultimately there will be a place for a material as pure as graphene in quantum computers – perhaps in devices that exploit electron spin.

This entry was posted in APS March Meeting 2011. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux