Manipulating electron spin in graphene may enable ambient-temperature FETs

Researchers at Chalmers University, affiliated with the Graphene Flagship, have devised a graphene-based spin field-effect transistor with the ability to function at room temperature. The team used the spin of electrons in graphene and similar layered material heterostructures to fabricate working devices in a step towards combining memory devices and the logic of spintronics.

Graphene spintronics FETs image

The researchers demonstrated that the spin characteristics of graphene can be electrically regulated in a controlled way, even at an ambient temperature. In addition to possibly unlocking various probabilities in spin logic operations, this study also enables integration with magnetic memory elements in a device unit. If further advancements can assist in the production of a spin current without the need for charge flow, the amount of power needed will be considerably reduced, resulting in highly versatile devices.

Graphene enables stretchable reliable memory device for next-gen electronics

Researchers at the Korean IBS, in collaboration with Sungkyunkwan University, have designed a novel graphene-based stretchable and flexible memory device for wearable electronics.

The team has constructed a memory called two-terminal tunnelling random access memory (TRAM), where two electrodes, referred to as drain and source, resemble the two communicating neurons of the synapse in the brain. While mainstream mobile electronics use the so-called three-terminal flash memory, the advantage of two-terminal memories like TRAM is that two-terminal memories do not need a thick and rigid oxide layer. While Flash memory is more reliable and has better performance, TRAM is more flexible and can be scalable, according to the team.

Graphene and MoS2 used by Berkeley Lab to make a transistor

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a way to assemble transistors based on graphene and molybdenum disulfide.

The method etches narrow channels in conducting graphene laid down on a silicon-dioxide substrate. These channels are then filled with the 2D MoS2. The method allows graphene to inject electrons into the conduction band of the MoS2 channel with improved performance compared with simply using metal contacts to inject electrons, according to the researchers.

Will MoS2 outperform graphene in water desalination membranes?

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new MoS2-based filter for water desalination that they claim might be cheaper and more effective than the filters used today. This filter reportedly performs better than graphene-based ones tested in the past.

This filter is made of single-layer sheet of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) with nanopores in them. Graphene membranes are thinner than MoS2 filters, but MoS2 still seems to be more efficient - the slightly thicker filter gives MoS2 more physical strength to withstand pressure, and, unlike graphene filters, they are more easily manufactured. 

Graphene lubricants last much longer than existing lubricants

One promising graphene application is in the lubricants market. Graphene NanoChem for example is commercializing graphene-based lubricants for the oil industry (and already signed a deal to supply 135,000 tons of these materials in the next five years). Now researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory discovered that those graphene-based lubricants last longer than conventional lubricants (made from graphite or molybdenum disulfide).

A single layer of graphene, for example, lasts for over 6,500 "wear cycles". This is a great improvement compared to conventional lubricants that will last for only 1,000 wear cycles - and this will only happen if you use about 1,000 layers of those materials.

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