New research shows that Graphene may be very useful as an interconnector in computer chips. In widths as narrow as 16 nanometers, graphene has a current carrying capacity approximately a thousand times greater than copper – while providing improved thermal conductivity.

A team from the Georgia Institute of Technology has performced this research. “Our measurements show that these graphene nanoribbons have a current carrying capacity at least two orders of magnitude higher than copper at these size scales.” said Raghunath Murali, a senior research engineer in Georgia Tech’s Nanotechnology Research Center.

“Our measurements show that graphene nanoribbons have a current carrying capacity of more than 10^8 amps per square centimeter, while a handful of them exceed 10^9 amps per square centimeter,” Murali said. “This makes them very robust in resisting electromigration and should greatly improve chip reliability.”

Electromigration is a phenomenon that causes transport of material, especially at high current density. In on-chip interconnects, this eventually leads to a break in the wire, which results in chip failure.

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