Ohm’s law is one of the most known equations in electronics. The following related equation can be utilized to determine the current generated in a conductor fed by a voltage source, with a certain differential voltage applied at its terminals, in terms of the electrical conductivity of the material:
In Equation 1 above it is easy to find a direct proportionality between the electric current, I, and the parameter, σ, that represents the electrical conductivity, which is dependent on the intrinsic physical characteristics of the material conducting the electric flow (see Table 1):
The table of electrical conductivity values of various conductors (Click on this link to be taken to the Source and an enlarged image of the table below: Wikipedia)
Table 1 reveals that the graphene material shows the highest electrical conductivity among the conductors commonly utilized in electronics, such as copper, aluminum, and silver. Moreover, recently a new discovery has been found in this area (see Figure 1):
“Using electrons more like photons could provide the foundation for a new type of electronic device that would capitalize on the ability of graphene to carry electrons with almost no resistance even at room temperature – a property known as ballistic transport.
The ballistic transport properties, similar to those observed in cylindrical carbon nanotubes, exceed theoretical conductance predictions for graphene by a factor of 10. The properties were measured in graphene nanoribbons approximately 40 nanometers wide that had been grown on the edges of three-dimensional structures etched into silicon carbide wafers.”
(Source: Georgia Tech Research News
“An international research team claim to have produced graphene ribbons in which electrons move freely. Charge mobility in the advanced materials exceeded one million cm2/V.s which makes their electron mobility 1000 times greater than that of the silicon semiconductors.”
(Source: EETimes Europe)
Graphene’s high electrical conductivity makes this material an optimal solution for applications requiring high speed execution such as computing core processors of calculators that need to handle large volumes of data in a short timeframe:
“Graphene's unique properties of thinness and conductivity have led to global research into its applications as a semiconductor. At just one atom thick and with the ability to conduct electricity at room temperature graphene semiconductors could replace existing technology for computer chips. Research has already shown that graphene chips are much faster than existing ones made from silicon.” (Source: University of Manchester)
The speed of graphene semiconductors might be an interesting option for NASA supercomputers (see Figure 2):
“Pleiades, one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, represents NASA's state-of-the-art technology for meeting the agency's supercomputing requirements, enabling NASA scientists and engineers to conduct modeling and simulation for NASA missions. This distributed-memory SGI ICE cluster is connected with InfiniBand® in a dual-plane hypercube technology” (Source: NASA supercomputers)
The NASA Pleiades supercomputer (Source: nasa.gov)
How do you like the very high value of the electrical conductivity of graphene? Do you ever need a faster processor for your computations? Do you think graphene could guarantee an outstanding speed of operation in chips to empower future electronics technology?