July 9, 2013
Graphene On Its Way To Conquer Silicon Valley
The unique properties of graphene such as its incredible strength and, at the same time, its little weight have raised high expectations in modern material science. Graphene, a two-dimensional crystal of carbon atoms packed in a honeycomb structure, has been in the focus of intensive research which led to a Nobel Prize of Physics in 2010. One major challenge is to successfully integrate graphene into the established metal-silicide technology. Scientists from the University of Vienna and their co-workers from research institutes in Germany and Russia have succeeded in fabricating a novel structure of high-quality metal silicides all nicely covered and protected underneath a graphene layer. These two-dimensional sheets are as thin as single atoms.
Following Einstein's footsteps
Graphene keeping its head up high
The graphene-capped silicides under investigation are reliably protected against oxidation and can cover a wide range of electronic materials and device applications. Most importantly, the graphene layer itself barely interacts with the silicides underneath and the unique properties of graphene are widely preserved. The work of the research team, therefore, promises a clever way to incorporate graphene with existing metal silicide technology which finds a wide range of applications in semiconductor devices, spintronics, photovoltaics and thermoelectrics.
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