How graphene could complement or replace silicon in electronic applications

As a follow up to the posts last week on new developments with graphene, Nanodot readers might want to check out an overview of the marvelous properties of this form of carbon currently featured in IEEE Spectrum, “Graphene Electronics, Unzipped” (all-on-one-page-version). Authors Alexander Sinitskii and James M. Tour (Foresight Feynman Prize winner 2008 Experimental) conclude:

To be sure, silicon will reign supreme in many of the applications in which it is now found. But carbon, silicon’s little brother, has new realms to conquer. And if graphene keeps progressing as fast as it has in the past two years, it will surely attract the immense weight of investment in research and development that has so far gone almost exclusively to silicon. If that happens, then little brother will at first supplement silicon and at last supplant it, as little brothers often do.

The title of the review derives from a method discovered in Prof. Tour’s laboratory of making nanoribbons of graphene from 3 to 300 nm in width (a promising size for use as building blocks for electronic devices) by using acid and oxidation to unzip a carbon nanotube along its length.

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