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Graphene offers Moore's Law indefinite extension

Posted: 15 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Chalmers University of Technology? Moore's Law graphene? spintronic? CVD?

While being considered as a wonder material for semiconductors and flaunting about 100 times the strength of steel by weight, graphene boasts the potential to extend Moore's Law. Already a highly-decorated material, graphene has now included another one to its list of extraordinary features

Offering very high electron mobility plus better-than-metal uniformity, graphene is considered as a perfect candidate for nanoscale spintronic devices. Spintronic devices encode information on the spin of individual electrons instead of the charge of thousands, which can potentially shrink device sizes into smaller, less power-consuming circuitry than silicon, according to Chalmers University of Technology (U.K.) at its Nanofabrication Laboratory.

Today a few devices use spin encoding, including advanced hard drives and magnetic random access memory (MRAM), but these devices only have to move spin-encoded electrons a few nanometres. Unfortunately, copper and aluminium are not uniform enough to encode spin much longer runs, limiting spintronics capabilities. Chalmers University of Technology's goal is to extend that distance to millimetres so that any digital circuit can use spintronics.

Saroj Dash, associate professor at Chalmers, and his collaborators, including doctoral candidate Venkata Kamalakar Mutta, recently reported success at long-distance spintronic communications over wires fashioned from graphene deposited by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) on copper then transferred to silicon-on-insulator (SoI) wafers at room temperature. Characterisation showed that spin transport could be extended to 16mm with a lifespan of 1.2ns and a 6mm spin diffusion length (the distance that magnetisation can be exchanged spontaneously between spins), six times more than other reported graphene based spintronics, according to Dash.

Graphene spintronic inverter

Graphene spintronic inverter changes the direction of spin on a single electron. (Source: Chalmers University of Technology)

"Graphene can be obtained in three ways: mechanical exfoliation from graphite bulk crystals, which is widely used technique and mostly reported; epitaxial graphene, which is grown on a silicon carbide (SiC) wafer by removing the silicon atoms from surface layers, a candidate for large scale applications; and chemical vapour deposited graphene on copper foils, which can be transferred to any substrate by dissolving copper chemically," stated Mutta. "Of these different forms, CVD is most viable form, which can be grown easily and transferred to any substrate. Exfoliated graphene is limited to small flakes and epitaxial is grown on large SiC substrates is good, but yet not very viable to be transferred to other substrates."

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