New graphene nanoribbons could enable smaller electronic devices

A new collaborative study has reported a 17-carbon wide graphene nanoribbon and found that it has the tiniest bandgap observed so far among familiar graphene nanoribbons prepared through a bottom-up approach.

17-carbon wide graphene nanoribbons to pave the way for new GNR-based electronic devices image(a) Bottom-up synthesis scheme of 17-AGNR on Au(111), (b) high-resolution STM image, and (c) nc-AFM image of 17-AGNR. Image Credit: Junichi Yamaguchi, Yasunobu Sugimoto, Shintaro Sato, Hiroko Yamada.

The study is part of a project of CREST, JST Japan including Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), the University of Tokyo, Fujitsu Laboratories and Fujitsu.

Researchers manage to grow GNRs directly on top of silicon wafers

Scientist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison are working towards making more powerful computers a reality. To that end, they have devised a method to grow tiny ribbons of graphene directly on top of silicon wafers. Graphene ribbons have a special advantage over graphene sheets - they become excellent semiconductors.

Graphene ribbons grown on silicon achieved by U of WM team imageGraphene nanoribbons on silicon wafers could help lead the way toward super fast computer chips. Image courtesy of Mike Arnold

“Compared to current technology, this could enable faster, low power devices,” says Vivek Saraswat, a PhD student in materials science and engineering at UW-Madison. “It could help you pack in more transistors onto chips and continue Moore’s law into the future”. The advance could enable graphene-based integrated circuits, with much improved performance over today’s silicon chips.

Graphene ribbons could enable new designs for optical quantum computers

Scientists from the University of Vienna and the Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona have shown that tailored graphene structures enable single photons to interact with each other, which could lead to new designs for optical quantum computers.

Photons barely interact with the environment, making them a leading candidate for storing and transmitting quantum information. However, this feature also makes it especially difficult to manipulate information that is encoded in photons. In order to build a photonic quantum computer, one photon must change the state of a second. Such a device is called a quantum logic gate, and millions of logic gates will be needed to build a quantum computer. One way to achieve this is to use a so-called 'nonlinear material' wherein two photons interact within the material. Unfortunately, standard nonlinear materials are far too inefficient to build a quantum logic gate.

Researchers make strides in achieving large scale production of graphene nanoribbons for electronics

Researchers have fully characterized graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with a clear route towards upscaling the production. Two-dimensional sheets of graphene in the form of ribbons a few tens of nanometers across have unique properties that are highly interesting for use in future electronics.

Researchers make strides in achieving large scale production of graphene nanoribbons for electronics image

The nanoribbons were grown on a template made of silicon carbide under well controlled conditions and thoroughly characterized by a research team from MAX IV Laboratory, Techniche Universität Chemnitz, Leibniz Universität Hannover, and Linköping University. The template has ridges running in two different crystallographic directions to let both the armchair and zig-zag varieties of graphene nanoribbons form. The result is a predictable growth of high-quality graphene nanoribbons which have a homogeneity over a millimeter scale and a well-controlled edge structure.

Pristine graphene could lead to improved solar cells and photodetectors

An international research team, co-led by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, which also included researchers at MIT, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore; UC Berkeley; and National Institute for Materials Science, Japan, has found a new mechanism for highly-efficient charge and energy flow in graphene, opening the door to new types of light-harvesting devices.

The researchers made pristine graphene into different geometric shapes, connecting narrow ribbons and crosses to wide open rectangular regions. They found that when light illuminated constricted areas, such as the region where a narrow ribbon connected two wide regions, a large light-induced current, or photocurrent, was detected.