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Materials

Fastest Graphene Transistor Yet

IBM researchers report the creation of a transistor that operates at 26 GHz, the highest frequency yet achieved for the 2-D carbon material

by Elizabeth K. Wilson
January 5, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 1

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Credit: LBNL
Graphene, with its chicken-wire structure, is a fast conductor.
8701scon_graphene.jpg
Credit: LBNL
Graphene, with its chicken-wire structure, is a fast conductor.

New progress in the blossoming field of graphene-based electronics comes from IBM researchers, who report the creation of a graphene transistor that operates at 26 GHz, the highest frequency yet achieved (Nano Lett., DOI: 10.1021/nl803316h). The researchers also show that the performance of these transistors increases as the device's size decreases. Graphene, a chicken-wire-structured sheet of carbon, has drawn much attention for its tantalizing electronic properties: It is an extremely fast conductor and has the potential to outperform silicon in electronics. Graphene technology is still in its infancy, however, and only a few graphene transistors have been fabricated. Phaedon Avouris and coworkers of IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center say the work illustrates the great potential of these devices. Although their graphene transistors are currently slower than silicon devices, the IBM researchers believe that eventually terahertz graphene transistors that are 100 times faster than current silicon devices are possible.

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