Graphene may power ultra-fast, next-gen electronics

Scientists showed that electrons in graphene are extremely mobile and react very quickly.

Graphene – a form of carbon – often touted as the ‘wonder material’ – can transmit extremely high currents, making it a potential building block for next-generation ultra-fast next-gen electronics, scientists say.  Researchers showed that the electrons in graphene are extremely mobile and react very quickly.

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Impacting xenon ions with a particularly high electric charge on a graphene film causes a large number of electrons to be torn away from the graphene in a very precise spot.  However, the material was able to replace the electrons within some seconds. This resulted in extremely high currents, which would not be maintained under normal circumstances.  Its extraordinary next-gen electronics properties make graphene a very promising phenomena for future applications in the field of electronics, which can remove up to 35 electrons from the xenon atoms, meaning the atoms have a high positive electric charge. These ions are then fired at a free-standing single layer of graphene, which is clamped between microscopically small brackets.  The xenon ion penetrates the graphene film, thereby knocking a carbon atom out of the graphene – but that has very little effect, as the gap that has opened up in the graphene is then refilled with another carbon atom.  The interesting part is how the electrical field of the highly charged ion affects the electrons in the graphene film.  The highly charged ion is approaching that it starts tearing electrons away from the graphene due to its extremely strong electric field. “The hope is that for this very reason, it will be possible to use graphene to build ultra-fast electronics,” said researchers.