Scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered a way for controlling graphene with semiconductor or metallic properties at will. In the future, this material may be used for interconnects that are faster and produce less heat than silicon based interconnects.
One of the new materials with the most potential is called graphene. Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute claim that they have discovered a new method for controlling graphene's nature. Graphene is a one-atom thin sheet of carbon that was discovered in 2004.
Graphene is being used by researchers at Rice University to make a new type of memory that could one day replace flash storage. Before graphene memory and other nanoelectronics using graphene can become a reality, researchers have to find more effective methods of producing graphene with the properties they need.
Rensselaer researcher Saroj Nayak and a postdoctoral research associate have demonstrated a new method that can be used to control the nature of graphene. According to the pair, the nature of graphene can be controlled depending on the substrate on which it is grown, thus shaping its conductive properties.
Results based on large-scale quantum mechanical simulations show that graphene deposited on a surface treated with oxygen results in semiconductor properties while graphene deposited on a surface treated with hydrogen exhibits metallic properties.