It’s a dull piece of material, well no more. One of its basic properties is prompting scientists to look towards when it comes to designing basic electronic design circuits.
As of now, as a material Graphene can’t turn a flow of electrons “on” or “off” like silicon. And yes, global scientists have tried tactics like introducing impurities or stacking it with other materials to overcome this without luck.
For many years now, Graphene, is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms with amazing physical properties, has been looked upon by many as the next silicon for the electronics industry. Mostly because a set of electrons can move through it with ease, making it an ideal pick as a semiconductor in electronics which can further fuel devices such as mobiles, tablets, computers etc.
However, on the other hand, there is a big problem with this material, it cannot be turned “off” like the way it is being done with silicon. The electrons flow continuously, which is a huge obstacle that must be overcome before graphene has a chance of challenging silicon as a material that can generate the 0s (“off”) and 1s (“on”) that form te fundamental platforms for modern day computing.
But there are some researchers who are in the process of modifying the graphene itself, whether by stacking it with other materials or introducing impurities, without much luck so far.
Silicon’s ability to start and stop the flow of electrons works well with Boolean logic, a means of processing information. Information is encoded and processed as a series of 0s and 1s; when electrons are flowing, a computer records a 1, and when they’re not flowing, it records a 0.
Because Graphene is unable to turn off the flow of electrons, the basic Boolean logic doesn’t work in this case. But researchers are now working their way around, while working with Graphene. Instead of turning the flow of electrons on or off, they have been able to manipulate the voltage and current to represent different values and alter the electronic flow. As a result, it doesn’t matter if the electrons are flowing constantly anymore.
When it is done on a larger scale, it will increase in computing power rely in part on ever-smaller transistors, which carry electronic signals to serve a few different purposes. Building them out of graphene could lead to transistors that are just an atom wide, allowing manufacturers to pack in more for more powerful computers. In other words, this will lead to more small form factors packing in more concentrated stuff inside. Ooks like we are in for a Graphene led electronics revolution.