Researchers from France, the US and Germany managed to produce graphene ribbons (GNRs) in which electrons move freely. Those ballistic-at-room-temperature ribbons (ballistic means that there is no resistance) can be produced easily and in large volume, and may find many applications in electronics.

The GNRs are 40 nm wide and feature very high structural quality. The main challenge was to ensure that the edges of the ribbons remained highly ordered. To achieve that, the researcher started with silicon carbide as a substrate, which was etched to have nanometer-deep steps. The graphene ribbons where synthesized directly on the sidewalls of these steps.

The researchers report that the charge mobility in the GNRs exceeded one million cm2/V.s, or a 1,000 times greater than silicon semiconductors.