Thursday, 16 June 2011

IBM Creates World's First Graphene-Based Computer Chip

A research group at IBM, led by the chemical physicist of Greek origin Phaedon Avouris created the first high speed chain of graphene, and all data are located in a single chip. The achievement of the researchers is of particular importance because it is a significant step towards the development of a new generation of electronic components based on graphene rather than pyrite, as usual. The chip can be used...

both in the field of wireless communications and in amplifiers.
There has been a progress in recent years in the development of devices of very thin graphene, which is considered to be the "material of the future". Until today, the experts were able to construct separate transistors, but could not connect them to other components within a single chip. The difficulty was due mostly to the fact that graphene is not easily combined with metals and oxides, which are used to manufacture semiconductors.
Phaedon Avouris

The IBM group managed to achieve exactly that. Under the leadership of Phaedon Avouris, who announced the successful experiment in the Science magazine, the researchers have succeeded to overcome the technical difficulties for the first time and combine a transistor of graphene and a pair of inductance coils on a silicon and carbon plate in an integrated circuit. Especially important is the fact that the entire production process is compatible with the existing conventional processes for the production of semiconductors, which facilitates the practical application of the new technology.
The new electronic circuits from graphene are operating on radio frequencies to 10 GHz and are most suitable for wireless communications systems. The group of Avouris, which involves another researcher of Greek origin - Christos Dimitrakopoulos is already working hard to improve the chain and to create more complex circuits for developed devices. The researchers believe that they will be able to combine graphene and pyrite in the future and create a "hybrid" circuits with new functional capabilities. 
Graphene was discovered in the 1970s. Scientists gradually managed to produce a "layer" of the material with a thickness of only one atom. The graphene sheet is composed of carbon atoms and has many advantages the most important being that it is flexible, transparent and inexpensive.
However, graphene is unable to replace the CMOS transistors used today, which are the base of all microprocessors, computer memories and consumer electronics. It does not possess the natural qualities of the materials which comprise traditional semiconductors and it can not fulfill the functions of a conventional transistor at least so far. But the semiconductors producing industry in Europe, Asia and the USA set its great hopes on the graphene because, as Phaedon Avouris stated, the introduction of relatively inexpensive chains of graphene could reduce the prices of many electronic devices in the future.

The head of the research group Phaedon Avouris was born in Greece in 1945. Having taken a degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, he received a doctorate in physical chemistry at the University of Michigan in 1974. He conducted the survey, which made him advance to a candidate of sciences at the University of California UCLA and then he worked at Bell Laboratories of AT & T. In 1978 Phaedon Avouris moved to the largest provider of software, hardware and complex services in the field of information technology IBM, where he is now a leading researcher, head of the nanoscience and nanotechnology department. He is considered a pioneer at international level. He was a professor at Columbia University in New York and Illinois.
The theoretical and practical research of Phaedon Avouris is related to electrical, optical and optoelectronic properties of carbon and graphene nanotubes. He has published over 360 scientific papers on these issues.
His group at IBM introduced in 1998 the world's first molecular transistor, created on the base of nanotubes, which was improved in subsequent years. Avouris paved the way for carbon-based integrated electronic and optoelectronic technology. He is a member of several prominent scientific and academic associations and has been repeatedly awarded for his work.

1 comment:

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