Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Graphene on-chip?

There is potential to replace the use of copper interconnections on future super fast chips and processors with single layers of graphite molecules. These ribbons of molecules are known as Graphene. The crucial current carrying capability of Graphene is at least two orders of magnitude that of copper at the same sizes. This should allow higher reliability of chips.

Graphene also has a high thermal conductivity, which may allow interconnections to also serve as heat sinks in next generation chipsets. Fabrication is the ultimate challenge although lithography has so far resulted in ribbon widths between 16 and 52nm and lengths of up to 1 micrometre. This is yet another application of nanotechnology that could impact the future generations of electronics which will be inside devices that we all use.

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