Graphene amplifiers to increase wireless chip efficiency

 

Triple-mode transistors built from one-atom-thick carbon.

US researchers have built and tested a graphene amplifier that could improve future Bluetooth, radiofrequency identification (RFID) and other wireless devices.

The team claimed to be the first to demonstrate a triple-mode, single-transistor amplifier that was based on graphene and had greater functionality than conventional semiconductor devices.

Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon that conducts electricity 100 times faster than silicon and won its discoverers a Nobel Prize in Physics this year.

The amplifier exploited the graphene's ambipolar nature - its ability to reactively use either negative or positive electric carriers, depending on the input signal.

According to the researchers, ambipolarity increased the functionality of a graphene transistor as it allowed current to flow in either direction, and could also act as frequency multiplier.

"This is different to conventional semiconductors, where the type of carrier is pre-determined by the doping during the device fabrication," University of California, Riverside professor Alexander Balandin told iTnews.

"Graphene amplifiers can lead to simpler and faster circuits and chips, smaller in size, and lower in energy consumption. The amplifiers can be used in Bluetooth, cell phone and other applications."

Balandin's research group joined collaborators at Rice University to build the graphene amplifiers six months ago, after having worked on graphene transistors for two-and-a-half years.

In a research paper published in ACS Nano this month, the researchers noted that the amplifier would greatly simplify phase shift keying and frequency shift keying modulation techniques that were used in wireless and radio communications.

The single-transistor, triple-mode amplifier achieved what usually required multiple transistors and filtering devices in traditional analogue multipliers, they wrote.

Balandin said graphene would be used in touch screens and in flexible electronics as soon as next year, and as heat spreaders in chips within five years.

"Graphene is likely to make it to analogue and communication electronics within a decade," he predicted.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Graphene amplifiers to increase wireless chip efficiency
Schematic of the operation of graphene amplifier. Credit: Balandin et al
 
 
 
Top Stories
At the top of her game
A decision to bring digital operations back in-house three years ago has paid big dividends for Tabcorp.
 
Westpac hires SAP man as CTO
Creates four new IT lead positions.
 
Qld Transport to replace core registration system
State's biggest citizen info repository set for overhaul.
 
 
Schematic of the operation of graphene amplifier. Credit: Balandin et al
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  39%
 
Your insurance company
  3%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  8%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  7%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  21%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  5%
TOTAL VOTES: 984

Vote