Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a layered material that can be used to develop transistors based on graphene — something the electronics industry has been searching for for a long time.
Graphene has extremely high conductivity, even moreso than copper. However, it’s not a semiconductor, therefore it can’t work in a transistor. A form of graphene called “graphene oxide” actually is a semiconductor, but it doesn’t share the conductive properties.
Instead, there’s a form of graphene oxide called “reduced graphene oxide” (rGO) that does share the conductive properties. However it still can’t function as a transistor, since it can only function as a positively charged material.
The researchers from NC State managed to find a solution, kurzweilai.net reports, “The NC State researchers’ solution was to use high-powered laser pulses to disrupt chemical groups on an rGO thin film. This disruption moved electrons from one group to another, effectively converting p-type rGO to n-type rGO. They then used the two forms of rGO as two layers (a layer of n-type rGO on the surface and a layer of p-type rGO underneath) — creating a layered thin-film material that could be used to develop rGO-based transistors for use in future semiconductor chips.”
The paper was published in the Journal of Applied Physics. The work was done with support from the National Science Foundation.
Publication Journal: Anagh Bhaumik and Jagdish Narayan. Conversion of p to n-type Reduced Graphene Oxide by Laser Annealing at Room Temperature and Pressure. March 29, Journal of Applied Physics; DOI: 10.1063/1.4979211