In a study published in the journal Science, the Manchester team led by Nobel laureates, professors Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, literally opened up a new dimension in the field of research on graphene. They have demonstrated a three-dimensional graphene transistor, which will be the new graphene with silicon.
Graphene is an amazing material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms having numerous unique properties in a variety of fields ranging from electrical, chemical and optical and mechanical finishing.
One of the many potential uses of graphene is to use it as the base material of computer chips instead of silicon. This prospect has already managed to attract major chip manufacturers, including IBM, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Intel. Individual graphene transistors with very high frequencies (300 Hz) has been demonstrated by many groups around the world.
Unfortunately, these transistors can not be packed tightly into a computer chip, since leakage current is too large, even for the most graphene nonconductive state. This current flow will melt the chip fractions of a second.
This problem has plagued graphene transistors since 2004, when the Manchester researchers reported the discovery of graphene. Despite the efforts of the world scientific community, since it was found not solve this problem.
Scientists from the University of Manchester, suggested the use of graphene is not horizontal, as in all previous studies, and in the vertical plane and created a so-called tunnel diode.
Dr Leonid Ponomarenko, who conducted the experimental work, said: "We experienced a conceptually new approach to graphene electronics. Our transistors have proved effective. I think they can be improved considerably reduced in size to nanometer sizes and communicated to the sub-THz frequencies . "
"Demonstrated transistors are important, but the concept of atomic layered assembly is perhaps even more important," - said Professor Geim. Professor Novoselov added: "The tunnel transistors - just one example of the countless number of possible layered structures and new devices that can be created in a similar manner. This opens up countless possibilities, both for fundamental physics and for practical applications. Other possible examples include light-emitting diodes, Photovoltaics and so on. "