Only one atom thick and less than 50 atoms wide, these "nano" transistors are the smallest in the world. Graphene transistors originally produced at the end of 2004 were very “leaky”. Transistors are like a valves, controlling the flow of an electric current. If they cannot be totally turned off, the leakage results in drained batteries.
Now the Manchester team has found an elegant way around the problem and made graphene-based transistors suitable for use in future computer chips.
Graphene remains highly stable and conductive even when it is cut into strips of only a few nanometres wide.
All other known materials - including silicon - oxidise, decompose and become unstable at sizes tens times larger.
Professor Geim does not expect that graphene-based circuits will come of age before 2025. DailyTech
Professor Andre Geim and Dr Kostya Novoselov from The School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Manchester reveal details of these transistors, in the March issue of Nature Materials.