A pair of Nobel laureates have created what might become the replacement to the silicon computer chip. Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov have constructed a multi-layer graphene transistor which succeeds where past models have failed. Specifically, their model layers the atomically thin graphene molecules vertically rather than horizontally, as has been done in the past. The professors have taken advantage of a unique characteristic of graphene to ‘change the energy gap of tunneling electrons’.
What’s the Big Idea?
The potential of graphene, at once the world’s strongest and most conductive material, has already caught the attention of important computer manufacturers like IBM, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Intel. While problems persist–current graphene transistors leak too much energy, easily overheating and melting chips–manufactures are eager to replace silicon because of current speed limitations. At stake is Moore’s Law which has correctly predicted the doubling of computer power about every 18 months.