Semiconductor chips of tomorrow could one day be manufactured by using a “photocopying” process on super-thin sheets of graphene, rather than using traditional silicon, according to research being conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The MIT research involves graphene, which are single-atom-thin sheets of graphite that are being used to copy intricate crystalline patterns from an underlying silicon wafer onto to an adjacent top layer of an identical material.
The idea is seen as a promising way to reduce the cost of existing semiconductor wafer design and construction, while also allowing the use of more exotic materials which have better conductivity properties compared to silicon, according to the school.
Yunjo Kim, a graduate student at MIT and a co-author of the research so far, told ITPro that many similar experiments by other researchers have involved graphene over the years but it hasn’t yet demonstrated industrial scalability for production.
“The idea of using graphene in electronics has always been a challenge,” he said, with some researchers trying flaked graphene and the MIT team using large-scale single crystal-based graphene. At MIT, the researchers are using the material to seek new ways of improving and lowering the costs of chip production.
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Source: Windows ITPro