An international research team led by scientists from the University of Exeter in Great Britain are suspending graphene flakes in tiny volumes or channels of fluid to pave the way for graphene-based opto-electronics. The research could also lead to a revolution in the speed and capabilities of the next generation of computers by improving the manufacture and performance of microchips. The technology also has applications in X-ray machines and fiber optic cable.
The goal, writes Electronicsweekly.com, is to couple the flakes to CMOS photonic circuits. Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor is the name for the small battery that powers the memory that keeps your computer data safe when it’s off or unplugged.
Researchers say that Liquid crystals in the micro-channels can be manipulated to capture optically-active graphene oxide flakes and form two-dimensional fluid composite materials. These materials can then trigger desired optical responses for the CMOS.
Per an article in Exeter.ac.uk: “This technology will make use of optoelectronics (that work by detecting and controlling light) for making computer chips. Anna Baldycheva, from the Graphene Science department at Exeter, states that this breakthrough in technology is hoped to bring about a revolution in the development of computers and electronics.”
While the current flakes are only two-dimensional, researchers have come up with an optoelectronic device which would allow it to be used in a 3D structure. While it’s currently being researched for computers, it has potential to be implemented into other areas as well.
The article in Exeter.ac.uk further states: “The world of technology has been subjected to marvellous breakthroughs at an exponential rate, since its existence. With such rapid growth in technology, one could easily say that we are living in the future.The Graphene Oxide technology has the potential to reshape the technology we see today totally. Graphene Oxide batteries, which have higher capacities and lesser dimensions than their Lithium based counterparts, are also being developed. We could expect a lot of graphene-based devices in the near future.”
Baldycheva, Anna et al., Dynamic in-situ sensing of fluid-dispersed 2D materials integrated on microfluidic Si chip, Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 42120 (2017)