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Carbon: the future of silicon

posted Dec 28, 2009, 8:55 AM by Igor Lukyanchuk   [ updated Dec 29, 2009, 12:06 AM ]
 LeMonde.frIn 2004 Igor Lukyanchuk, and  Yakov Kopelevich (Sao Paulo, Brazil), discovered a remarkable property: in pure graphite, some electrons behave like photons. Unlike  superconductivity, (phenomenon of some materials at temperature of liquid nitrogen (-196 C) to lose all their resistance towards electric current), in graphite, this property appears at room temperature. This is enough to provide strong competition for copper cables and other electrical circuits.

In 2005, another discovery opens new perspectives. Teams of Andre Geim (Manchester University) and Philip Kim (Columbia University) succeeded in synthesis of graphite monolayers  - known also as graphene sheets. A material has only two dimensions (length and width), whose thickness is of one graphite atom i.e. a few Angstroms.

The physics goes down below nano-scale devices, opening the way for a new electronics, in which carbon could substitute silicon. The US military research agency  (DARPA) is initiated a research program called CERA (Carbon Electronics for Radio Frequency Applications). having the objective to produce a film of graphene of size 50x50 mm.

Andre Geim, made another step in making the first graphene transistor: basic component of microchips in the era of graphite? The producers of silicon chips: Intel and IBM are ahead of these research. And Igor Lukyanchuk joint this trend  which gives to his discovery the chance  to participate in a revolution.
 
Michel Alberganti  06.07.08, (translated from French)
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Igor Lukyanchuk,
Dec 28, 2009, 9:22 AM