London: Scientists have discovered that graphene, an allotrope of carbon can be used to create ultra-efficient electronics, new 3D crystal structures which will aid next generation computer chips.
Researchers from University of Manchester have demonstrated that sandwiching individual graphene sheets between insulating layers can produce electrical devices with unique new properties.
Graphene is a unique material that consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb or chicken wire structure.
It is the thinnest material in the world and yet is also one of the strongest. It conducts electricity as efficiently as copper and outperforms all other materials as a conductor of heat.
The study published in journal Nature Materials, the scientists found that a new side-view imaging technique can be used to visualise the individual atomic layers of graphene within electronic devices.
They found that the structures were almost perfect even when more than 10 different layers were used to build the stack.
This indicates that the latest techniques of isolating graphene could be a huge leap forward for engineering at the atomic level.
"We have found that the observed roughness of the graphene is correlated with their conductivity. Of course we have to make all our electrical measurements before cutting into the device," Dr Sarah Haigh, from University of Manchester's School of Materials, said.
"We were also able to observe that the layers were perfectly clean and that any debris left over from production segregated into isolated pockets and so did not affect device performance," Haigh said in a statement.
First Published: Monday, July 30, 2012, 14:31