Researchers at Ohio State University are developing a technique for mass producing computer chips made from Graphene. The team found a technique for stamping many graphene sheets onto a substrate at once, in precise locations. They carved graphite into different shapes -- a field of microscopic pillars, for example -- and then stamped the shapes onto silicon oxide surfaces.
In this first series of experiments, the Ohio State researchers were able to stamp high-definition features that were ten layers thick, or thicker. The graphite stamp can then be used repeatedly on other predetermined locations on the same or other substrates, making this a mass-production method, potentially.
They used three different kinds of microscopes -- a scanning electron microscope, optical microscope, and atomic force microscope -- to measure the heights of the features, and assure that they were placed precisely on the substrate.
They eventually hope to stamp narrow features that are only one or two layers thick, by stamping on materials other than silicon oxide.
In computer simulations, they found that each material interacts differently with the graphene. So success might rely on finding just the right combination of substrate materials to coax the graphene to break off in one or two layers. This would also tailor the properties of the graphene.