Graphene the New Silicon

April 7, 2014 - South Korea, researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and Korea's Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) have announced a major breakthrough in the mass production of graphene. Graphene is expected to the material of choice displacing current silicon.

The team at SKKU is the first to grow a large-scale, impurity-free sheet of graphene that maintained its electric properties. The process involved growing the graphene in multiple places on a specially treated layer of Germanium, the smaller pieces of graphene would then merge together to form the large sheet. It’s hoped that this manufacturing process could drastically reduce the cost of creating large quantities of graphene which is still prohibitively expensive for use in consumer electronics.

Graphene has the potential to revolutionise the electronics industry with potential uses that include drastically improved solar energy cells, radically improved batteries and even going so far as replacing silicon as the ingredient of choice in the microprocessor.

Samsung is particularly interested in graphene because it is highly flexible, incredible strong and is a good conductor of heat making it the perfect material for use in flexible displays and wearables, something Samsung is betting on heavily with devices like the Gear Fit fitness tracker it launched at Mobile World Congress.

Processor manufacturers like Intel and Qualcomm are also paying particular attention to the rise of graphene because it allows electrons to flow through it 100 times easier than they do in silicon. It’s hoped that this level of electrical conductivity will enable processors made from graphene to continue Moore’s law long after silicon has reached the end of its own usability.

Sources: Read the original story here by David Greenway

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