GRAPHENE BASED ELECTRONICS
In contrast to conventional materials, graphene has high ability to control the flow of electrons at high speed. Graphene-based transistor technology is such an advance technology which is moving at a faster pace that one can communicate tons of data from Mars to Earth in few hours.
Graphene is a frabjous material with unique properties. Albeit, it was known to scientists yet it took years for its real discovery. It is an allotrope of Carbon, arranged in a honeycomb fashion and is one of the thinnest and lightest 2-D material known hitherto.
It is being discovered that graphene has the potential to control the flow of electrons at speed such that it can revolutionize current electronics.
As an example, Graphene transistors are dextrous to communicate in the TeraHertz (THz) range of frequencies that is thousand times more rapid than today’s communication. It is capable of vied wireless communication of 4G and 5G technology to thousand times.
BREAKING THE GRAPHENE BARRIER
But, the issue is that its unique 2-D structure becomes a cause of hindrance when it comes in contact with other materials which result in contamination by electrons. This contamination ends up nullifying properties possessed by intrinsic graphene. Edification is obligatory to use graphene in electronics and for achieving THz frequency.
So, an attempt was made by Prof. Mayank Shrivastava and his team at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to overcome this failure by comprehending quantum physics and quantum chemistry of such contacts.
“The problem of the contact resistance halts the use of graphene which is considered as one of the most fundamental bottle-neck in realizing this technology,” says Prof. Shrivastava in an interview with Scientifist. “Until we are able to interface graphene with the outside world with very little resistance, we will not be able to squeeze out its projected performance,” he stresses further.
Scientists all over the world presumed that the lowest limit of contact resistance was already achieved and not much can be achieved further. But after this tremendous discovery now theoretical aspects of this technology can be explored at a much more deeper level.
This work has shown a big jump in understanding the quantum behavior of Graphene‘s interface with outside world. The ground-breaking work is presented at International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM), the world’s most competitive platform in the field of electron devices, which mostly showcases technology and fundamental breakthroughs in the field.
“Graphene transistors are expected to be the enabler of THz technology– a billion dollar high-end application market, which is still untouched due to unavailability of electronics to control and manipulate THz radiation. With this breakthrough, we foresee commercialization of THz graphene technology in the near future, which was earlier projected to be around 2022 and this technology will be many times cheaper than the pre-existing technology,” remarks Prof. Shrivastava.
APPLICATIONS OF THE TECHNOLOGY
Thus, graphene based electronics can now be used in diverse applications such as communication between satellites, between spacecraft, interplanetary operations etc. For defense purpose, it could be used as safety and security tool which can detect a metallic as well as the plastic object like weapon or explosives without even penetrating through the skin.
This material is of paramount importance in India and outside to be looked forward and to be worked upon.
Published in: Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), 2016 IEEE International
Read more: Graphene: A Giant Carpet For Innovation