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Defective graphene sheets look poised to succeed silicon

Tim Stevens

As circuitry gets smaller and approaches the effective limitation of silicon's computing power, and Moore's Law begins to look like it has an expiration date, we get closer and closer to needing an alternative. Graphene is held to be the answer; sheets of carbon a single atom thick that could be stacked and composited to create processors. Two professors at the University of South Florida, Matthias Batzill and Ivan Oleynik, have found a new way to turn those sheets into circuits by creating nanoscale defects. These strips of broken atomic rings wind up having metallic properties, thus making them act like microscopic wires. IBM is already teasing us with the possibilities of graphene and now, with a more practical way to make graphene-based electronics, we'd say Moore's Law still has at least another couple decades left.

[Photo credit: Y. Lin]

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