October 21, 2013

Move Over Silicon

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov are two scientists who isolated one-atom-thick sheets of a revolutionary new substance, thereby winning the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics. They invented graphene, one of the strongest, lightest and most conductive materials known to humankind.

Many think it's going to forever change the world of electronics.

Graphene is a form of carbon derived from graphite oxide. It possessess
"phenomenal electron mobility – roughly 100 times greater than silicon. This means that graphene could replace silicon as a semiconductor material...  

This means that future devices would be able to become lighter, longer lasting, and more efficient." 
Compared to silicon-based microchips, graphene is dirt cheap. You can grow this stuff using existing DVD technology.

How'd you like a incredibly light weight super conducting battery that lasts for hours and hours, can take a charge over a million times and recharges 100,000x faster than Mr. Coppertop? Or a CPU that clocks at over 400 GHz? Oh yeah!

Charge your iPhone for 30 seconds and you're done. Plug in your Tesla electric car for ten minutes and then drive 200 miles.

The graphene battery finally dies? Throw it in the garbage or in your garden, it's carbon-based and completely bio-degradable.

Unfortunately there is a problem You can't turn this chip off.
The problem with graphene is that it has no band gap; electrons can flow at any energy. So the major focus of graphene engineers has been to find ways of creating an artificial band gap using methods such as applying electric fields, doping with atoms or by stretching and squeezing the material.

These approaches have met with modest success. Practical digital circuits require a band gap on the order of 1 eV at room temperature. But the best efforts with graphene have produced modest band gaps in the few hundred meV.

Even then this has come at a serious cost. The best graphene transistors are hugely fast but they dissipate energy like there’s no tomorrow and leak current like water through a sieve.
Engineers are working on this of course. All other kinds of other crazy stuff is being developed from this technology. Holographic disks are now possible and, get this, have already been developed. They have mind-boggling storage capacity.

There's a short video clip here and read more on this amazing new material here and here.


Doom said...

It might surprise you to find what has been created that has never been made useful, already. Basically we have tech on tech on tech that hasn't yet come to full fruition. Some of, though, we should be grateful regarding. This? Depends on if you believe true artificial intelligence will be a problem... or more... if we will be considered a problem to it. Summit like that.

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