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
Meet FABACUS, Westpac's first computer
GE225 operators celebrate gold anniversary.
 
NSW Govt gets ready to throw out the floppy disks
[Opinion] Dominic Perrottet says its time for government to catch up.
 
iiNet facing new copyright battle with Hollywood
Fighting to protect customer details.
 
 
Schematic of the operation of graphene amplifier. Credit: Balandin et al
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
In which area is your IT shop hiring the most staff?




   |   View results
IT security and risk
  26%
 
Sourcing and strategy
  12%
 
IT infrastructure (servers, storage, networking)
  22%
 
End user computing (desktops, mobiles, apps)
  15%
 
Software development
  26%
TOTAL VOTES: 333

Vote
Would your InfoSec team be prepared to share threat data with the Australian Government?

   |   View results
Yes
  57%
 
No
  43%
TOTAL VOTES: 138

Vote