A research team from the University of Texas and German nanotechnology company Aixtron have worked out a way to make wafer-scale graphene measuring between 100 and 300mm.
The research offers the prospect of integrating carbon-based graphene, which is just one atom thick, with silicon on a semi-industrial scale. Until now, graphene has proved difficult to manufacture in sufficient area, quantity and reliability for viable use in processors.
IBM research scientist Shu-Jen Han led a project that announced the creation of a wafer-scale graphene circuit in January of this year but did not solve the issue of reliable industrial-scale production. The polycrystalline graphene developed by IBM has improved carrier transport characteristics and fewer defects, enabling the team to manufacture 25,000 graphene field-effect transistors from lab-generated graphene film.
Research leader Deji Akinwande said the process is based on the scalable concept of growing graphene on copper-coated silicon substrate.
“Once we had developed a suitable method for growing high-quality graphene with negligible numbers of defects in small sample sizes, it was relatively straightforward for us to scale up.”