A First Step Toward Ultra-Fast Computers The First Functional Graphene Semiconductor
January 5, 2024 / By Zunair Tahir / Tech News
Scientists have demonstrated the first semiconductor made of graphene that functions. The finding may permanently alter electronics and computers.
Researchers have achieved a significant advancement in the field of electronics by producing the first functional semiconductor ever using graphene, a substance renowned for its strength, flexibility, light weight, and high resistance.
Their finding coincides with the limiting of silicon, the raw material used to make almost all contemporary devices.
Due to the fact that graphene semiconductors are faster and more energy-efficient than silicon, scientists have been working feverishly to produce them.
According to the authors, the finding opens up new possibilities for the development of electronics and may represent a significant advancement towards the next generation of computers.
The limits of silicon semiconductors are being reached. Bits, or ones and zeros, are represented by electricity passing through silicon switches in classical computers, such as the chip in your laptop or phone.
“All computers require semiconductors in order to operate. They enable us to design little switches that can be used to turn on and off energy. Computers are able to conduct computations because of the energy that flows through electrical circuits,” said Sarah Haigh, a materials professor at the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.
A possibility was graphene. The strongest known chemical bonds hold graphene, a 2D substance made up of a single sheet of carbon atoms, together. Similar to honeycomb, these carbons are organized in tessellated hexagons.
About 200 times stronger than steel, it is an extraordinarily strong substance. With just one atomic layer of graphene, it is strong enough to hold up a football.
Additionally, because graphene is so flexible, it may be printed on glass, plastic, or textiles in addition to being used in batteries and electrical equipment.
Scientists are especially excited about its potential application as a quicker and more energy-efficient semiconductor.
According to experts, the breakthrough has enormous promise for the electronics sector. One potential benefit is that it may enable the development of novel graphene semiconductors that are far more potent than silicon equivalents while consuming less energy.
Because graphene electronics can turn on and off with less energy, they are more energy-efficient. Additionally, they let electrons to move freely without producing a lot of extra heat that needs to be cooled using fans, which uses energy, according to Haigh.
“This would mean phones could last for weeks without running out of battery, reduce energy consumption in all parts of our lives, reducing costs and the pollution from fossil fuels
According to De Heer, his finding could alter electronics in the future.
The development of quantum computer technology might be expedited, to start with, by the new graphene superconductors.
Though still in the early stages of research, quantum computers can tackle problems that would take conventional supercomputers millennia to solve in a matter of seconds.
According to experts, graphene semiconductors might aid in overcoming the numerous difficulties involved in developing quantum computers.