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Engineers Solve a Key Issue in Graphene Use

University of California, Riverside (UCR), researchers have addressed a key problem in the worldwide effort to use graphene in electronics. Graphene is a one-atom thick layer of the mineral graphite known for being very conductive and strong. It also has interesting optical and thermal properties. This combination of properties intrigues researchers who want to use it in any number of applications. However, unlike semiconducting materials, graphene does not have an energy band gap, a property that allows a transistor to be completely turned off. Without this property, a graphene transistor would have leakage and lose power even when off, which can cause performance problems or even failure. Attempts by various researchers to create a band gap in graphene have not been successful. The UCR scientists resolved the issue by changing how information is processed in graphene circuits. Specifically, they used non-Boolean logic to convey information instead of the ones and zeroes of Boolean logic. They demonstrated the concept using a graphene field-effect transistor. The UCR researchers say their technique could be used in both microscopic and nanoscale circuits. (EurekAlert)(University of California, Riverside @ EurekAlert)(arXiv) 

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