European Science Foundation Programme

Juni 2010 – Research Project: ELOGRAPH – Electrical and Optoelectronic Graphene Devices



Electrical and Optoelectronic Graphene Devices (ELOGRAPH)

The ELOGRAPH CRP combines experimental knowledge, engineering sciences and theoretical expertise within an interdisciplinary research consortium to realize and to explore the potential of graphene nanoribbon (GNR) devices. The direct band-gap and tune-ability of the band-gap in GNR-devices renders graphene-devices as promising candidates for future optoelectronic applications (e.g. on-chip optoelectronic data-links or infrared photo-detectors for thermoelectric energy harvesting of residual heat). This CRP will focus on graphene nanoribbon device fabrication, its optoelectronic characterization, numerical simulation and modeling as well. First, a novel method to grow graphene layers directly on oxidised silicon substrates will be investigated. This method is based on catalytic chemical vapour deposition (CCVD) and is compatible with state-of-the-art semiconductor processing. Second, various physical methods to control the band-gap (e.g. via GNR-width modulation or by creating regular dots or anti-dots on the graphene-sheet) will be studied theoretically and experimentally. Apart from physical methods, the possibility to tune the band-gap of a graphene-bilayer by applying a transverse electric field will be investigated in gate-controlled bilayer graphene-FETs (field-effect transistors). Finally, experimentally embedded modelling of graphene-FETs will be performed in view of integrated circuit design to provide a reliable data basis for future applications.

Background and Objectives

The term graphene stands for a single atomic layer (monolayer graphene) or bilayer of graphite. In graphene, the trend to reduce the dimensions of the conducting elements of electronics has, unexpectedly, led one into a new world of peculiar physical properties, not encountered in standard electronic materials. Despite being only one-atom thick, graphene is chemically and thermally stable, so that graphene-based devices, such as field-effect transistors have already been manufactured, and they withstand ambient conditions. It has been understood theoretically, and confirmed experimentally, that both monolayer and bilayer graphene are gapless semiconductors, with peculiar properties of charge carriers. Whereas the interest in graphene as a qualitatively new two-dimensional electronic system boosts the rapid development of the physics of graphene and graphene-based nanostructures, so far, chemical, mechanical, magnetic and other properties of this new material remain an unexplored territory.

EuroGRAPHENE is a four year programme, which recognises that there is a clear need for European-wide cooperation to tackle the challenges of deepening understanding of the physical properties of graphene; expanding research into new areas of chemical modifications of the material and searching for methods to design it electronic properties; investigating its mechanical and electro-mechanical properties, broadly studying kinetic processes in graphene aiming at understanding optoelectronic effects; and modelling graphene-based devices for any functional applications.

EuroGRAPHENE will provide the framework for bringing together the complementary expertise of technologists, experimentalist and theorists within small and medium-size consortia of world-leading European research groups, in order to accelerate the pace of European research in graphene and its applications by concentrating and networking the activities.