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New Graphene-Based Transistors Run at Terahertz Speed

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Researchers from the University of Manchester and University of Nottingham have developed a graphene-based transistor that can spontaneously switch between two electronic states.

The device, which can emit electromagnetic waves at a terahertz frequency, is formed by two layers of graphene divided by an insulating layer of boron nitride. With the ultra-thin insulator, electrons are able to move by quantum tunneling, and the rapid motion leads to emission of high-frequency electronic waves.

Graphene bistable transistor

These new transistors show the signature of a quantum seesaw, called “negative differential conductance”, whereby the same electrical current flows at two different applied voltages.

Graphene is a two-dimensional material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb or chicken wire structure. Originally thought to be unstable in its free state, Graphene was first isolated by researchers at The University of Manchester in 2004. Graphene is the thinnest material known and yet is also one of the strongest, thus a potential to revolutionize electronic devices.

One of the researchers, Laurence Eaves said graphene-based transistors could revolutionize technologies for medical imaging and security screening and could replace silicon-based technology in computing devices.

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By , International Correspondent, Cebo (Philippines) office
Published on May 14th, 2013 GMT +2

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