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Rice Technique Points Toward 2-D Devices

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array of graphene transistors

Optical image of an array of graphene transistors with device schematic (inset).

Credit: Nature

Rice University researchers have developed a method to make patterns in atom-thick layers of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), which could lead to the creation of two-dimensional electronics.

Since Rice researchers introduced a technique to stitch the two materials together almost three years ago, the idea has received a lot of attention from other researchers interested in the prospect of building two-dimensional atomic-layer circuits, notes Rice professor Pulickel Ajayan. "It should be possible to make fully functional devices with circuits 30, even 20 nanometers wide, all in two dimensions," says Rice's Jun Lou.

The research involves finely detailed patterns of graphene being laced into gaps created in sheets of h-BN. The research shows that "even by doing all kinds of growth, then etching, then regrowth, the intrinsic properties of these two materials are not affected," Lou says.

The next step is to integrate a third element, a semiconductor, into the 2-D fabric. "If we can do that, we can build truly integrated in-plane devices," which would lead to new options for manufacturers experimenting with flexible electronics, says Rice's Zheng Liu.

From Rice University 
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