Schematic illustration of a graphene transistor prototype.

Development of graphene transistor with new operating principle

February 19, 2013

AIST researchers have developed a graphene transistor with a new operating principle. In the developed transistor, two electrodes and two top gates are placed on graphene and graphene between the top gates is irradiated with a helium ion beam to introduce crystalline defects. Gate biases are applied to the two top gates independently, allowing carrier densities in the top-gated graphene regions to be effectively controlled. An electric current on/off ratio of approximately four orders of magnitude was demonstrated at 200 K (approximately ?73 °C). In addition, its transistor polarity can be electrically controlled and inverted, which to date has not been possible for transistors. This technology can be used in the conventional production technology of integrated circuits based on silicon, and is expected to contribute to the realization of ultra-low-power-consumption electronics by reducing operation voltage in future.

Details of this technology were presented at the 2012 International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM 2012) held in San Francisco, U.S.A., from December 10 to 12, 2012.

In recent years, the increase in power consumption associated with the spread of mobile information terminals and the progress in IT devices has become a concern. Societal demand for reduction of the power consumed by electronic information devices is increasing. Although attempts at reducing the power consumed by large-scale integrated circuits (LSIs) have been advanced, the conventional transistor structure is considered to have inherent limits. Meanwhile, electron mobility of graphene, which represents the ease of electron movement, is at least 100 times larger than that of silicon. It is also expected that graphene can be used to resolve the problems of the inherent limits of silicon and other materials. Therefore, graphene has the potential to remove the obstacle to reducing the power consumed by LSIs, and it is expected that graphene will be used as a material for ultra-low-power-consumption transistors of the post-silicon age that utilize new functional atomic films.

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