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Two-dimensional materials unlock the path to ultra-low-power transistors

Posted on 7 November 2017

An international team of scientists has discovered a new route to ultra-low-power transistors using a graphene-based composite material.

Two-dimensional materials schematic

 

As transistors are squeezed into ever smaller areas within computer chips, the semiconductor industry struggles to contain overheating in devices.

Now researchers from the University of York and Roma Tre University believe the solution lies in composite materials built from monolayers of graphene and the transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC).They discovered these materials could be used to achieve a fine electrical control over the electron’s spin – its tiny compass needle.

Lead researcher Dr Aires Ferreira, of the University of York’s Department of Physics, said: “For many years, we have been searching for good conductors allowing efficient electrical control over the electron’s spin.

“We found this can be achieved with little effort when two-dimensional graphene is paired with certain semiconducting layered materials. Our calculations show that the application of small voltages across the graphene layer induces a net polarization of conduction spins.

“We believe that our predictions will attract substantial interest from the spintronics community. The flexible, atomically thin nature of the graphene-based structure is a major advantage for applications. Also, the presence of a semiconducting component opens up the possibility for integration with optical communication networks.”

You can read the full story on the University of York website.