Looking for a specific product?

Make a search for products & suppliers, articles & news.

New material may replace silicon

The method involves growing semiconductor-nanowires on graphene. To achieve this, researchers “bomb” the graphene surface with gallium atoms and arsenic molecules, thereby creating a network of minute nanowires.

The result is a one-micrometre thick hybrid material which acts as a semiconductor. By comparison, the silicon semiconductors in use today are several hundred times thicker. The semiconductors’ ability to conduct electricity may be affected by temperature, light or the addition of other atoms.

Grafen Grafen consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. (Illustration: Wikimedia Commons). Fantastic potential

Graphene is the thinnest material known, and at the same time one of the strongest. It consists of a single layer of carbon atoms and is both pliable and transparent. The material conducts electricity and heat very effectively. And perhaps most importantly, it is very inexpensive to produce.

“Given that it’s possible to make semiconductors out of graphene instead of silicon, we can make semiconductor components that are both cheaper and more effective than the ones currently on the market,” explains Helge Weman of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Dr Weman is behind the breakthrough discovery along with Professor Bjørn-Ove Fimland.

“A material comprising a pliable base that is also transparent opens up a world of opportunities, one we have barely touched the surface of,” says Dr Weman. “This may bring about a revolution in the production of solar cells and LED components. Windows in traditional houses could double as solar panels or a TV screen. Mobile phone screens could be wrapped around the wrist like a watch. In short, the potential is tremendous.”

Broad-based public funding

The researchers have received assistance in gaining patents and founding a company from NTNU Technology Transfer AS, a collaborative partner to the programme entitled Commercialising R&D Results (FORNY2020) at the Research Council of Norway.

However, the path to these remarkable findings started with basic research funded under the Research Council’s Clean Energy for the Future Programme (RENERGI) and the now-concluded programme, Nanotechnology and New Materials (NANOMAT), which initiated the findings.


This video explains the new material. (Video: CrayNano AS)

Huge interest among electronics giants

The researchers will now begin to create prototypes directed towards specific areas of application. They have been in contact with giants in the electronics industry such as Samsung and IBM. “There is tremendous interest in producing semiconductors out of graphene, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find collaborative partners,” Dr Weman adds.

The researchers are hoping to have the new semiconductor hybrid materials on the commercial market in roughly five years.

 

Related news

Latest news

TechnipFMC named top Petroleum International Contractor by ENR

This accomplishment places us in front of companies such as Petrofac,

The world’s energy demand will peak in 2035 prompting a reshaping of energy investment

The electrification trend is already enveloping the automotive industry.

DNV GL launches revised design standard and new certification guideline for floating wind turbines

The role of offshore wind, including floating offshore wind energy, 

Green Corridor JIP delivers innovative bulk carrier designs for a low emissions future

When the IMO confirmed the 2020 deadline for the 0.5 per cent global sulphur cap in 2016, 

DNV GL launches Operations & Analytics Centre in India to enable 24/7 monitoring for renewable assets globally

The new global monitoring centre is especially significant to independent power providers, 

DNV GL awards AiP to Jiangnan Shipyard for 93K cbm very large ethane carrier design “PANDA E”

The flexible, efficient and environmentally friendly design was developed by Jiangnan Shipyard in cooperation with GTT,

DNV GL starts phase II of project to examine the impact of phase-contamination on oil flow meters

Accurate measurement of the production of oil fields is an important means ...

Important message at the “AKVAculture Day”

We won’t be able to create growth unless we can handle the industry’s challenges.

Visit from the Ministry of Trade Industry and Fisheries

The Ministry visited in order to learn more about the industry.