A team of researchers managed to achieve a new milestone in both the field of materials science and of physics. For the first time in history, they managed to create artificial graphene especially for introducing it into a semiconductor. This achievement was only possible with the help of nanotechnologies.
The first time when artificial graphene is inserted into a semiconductor
Researchers from Princeton, Purdue, and Columbia Universities collaborated with scientists from Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, and managed to reproduce the structure of graphene on a nanoscale. The 2D formations typical of this material were then engraved on gallium arsenide, a semiconductor.
Researchers have created artificial graphene in other environments, but it was the first time when they managed to merge it with a semiconductor. Unlike its introduction in an optical or photonic system, the graphene’s presence in a semiconductor environment offers more possibilities to manipulate electronics. There’s no need to mention the researchers are extremely proud of their achievement.
“This milestone defines a new state-of-the-art in condensed matter science and nanofabrication,” explains Aron Pinczuk, physics professor at Columbia University Engineering School.
Artificial graphene has incredible electronic properties
In graphene, electrons behave as if they were closer to reaching the speed of light. Therefore, attaching it to a semiconductor would offer a better perspective on this behavior. Regular conductors present in transistors or switches do not allow the electrons to enter such states, and this is why the addition of the artificial graphene is important.
Graphene also has a unique structure, made up of 2D formations. It is extremely conductive, is strong, and has one of the highest electronic properties among different materials, while being extremely thin. Researchers think that all these properties and its unique arrangement of atoms will allow them to explore new quantum states. Also, they can alter the structure of the artificial graphene and manipulate these electronic properties as they like.