The previous parts of this blog series contain many possible usages of Graphene in electronics technology; this implies that the research regarding this material is under continuous development to better ensure performance and to put into practice the great potential of this as a substrate:
“With graphene used in everything from conductors, through to supercapacitors, solar cells and a raft of other electronic devices, displays made from this material are a logical choice for improving the longevity, robustness, and usability of photovoltaic cells, wearable, flexible textiles and medical devices. This research may lead to developments in these areas in the very near future.” (Source: NEW ATLAS)
The research on graphene is being pushed to exceed the next level because of many different applications for which this material is a perfect solution:
“-It is 200 times stronger than steel, yet incredibly lightweight and flexible.
-It is electrically and thermally conductive but also transparent.
-It is the world's first 2D material and is one million times smaller than the diameter of a single human hair.”
(Source: Manchester 1824: The home of graphene)
The range of possible applications of graphene in electronics is wide (Source: The University of Manchester)
One interesting example of an IC photodetector with an extreme sensitivity to light is shown in Figure 2; this type of solution holds the promise of beginning a new era for this type of optical sensor:
“To achieve such high sensitivity, the researchers first create a transistor with a graphene monolayer (one-atom-thick) channel. They then deposit a varying-thickness layer of titanium on top of the graphene. This titanium layer is then etched away, leaving an array of graphene quantum dot-like (GQD) structures. This GQD then acts as the photodetector: When photons hit the GQD, the transistor turns on. Strap enough of these graphene transistors together and voila: You now have an imaging sensor.” (Source: EXTREME TECH)
Another interesting example of an application of the Graphene’s properties in realizing integrated circuits with 2D dimensions is represented by the Graphene heterostructures that could be massively utilized to implement ultrathin integrated photovoltaic structures (see Figure 3):
“The advent of graphene and related 2D materials1, 2 has recently led to a new technology: heterostructures based on these atomically thin crystals3. The paradigm proved itself extremely versatile and led to rapid demonstration of tunneling diodes with negative differential resistance4, tunneling transistors5, photovoltaic devices6, 7 and so on” . (Source: nature.com)
The 2D structures in graphene for photovoltaic electronics ICs (Source: Manchester 1824)
Graphene offers a rich scenario of possible applications to realize highly innovative electronics devices; do you think there are more possible applications? If yes– what? Do you think Graphene will satisfy industry expectations?