Thursday, June 9, 2011

IBM Develops 10 GHz Graphene IC for Potential Wireless Applications

Researchers at IBM have created the first integrated circuit fabricated from wafer-size graphene and demonstrated a broadband frequency mixer operating at frequencies up to 10 GHz. The milestone is significant because it demonstrates the viability of integrating graphene transistors with other components on a single chip. Graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms packed in a honeycomb structure, possesses outstanding electrical, optical, mechanical and thermal properties.

The breakthrough is reported by IBM Research in the magazine Science. The project was funded under DARPA's Carbon Electronics for RF Applications (CERA) program.

The new broadband frequency mixer circuit consists a graphene transistor and a pair of inductors compactly integrated on a silicon carbide (SiC) wafer.

"Just a few days before IBM commemorates its 100th anniversary, our scientists have achieved a nanotechnology milestone which continues the company's century-long pursuit of innovation and technology leadership," said T.C. Chen, vice president, Science and Technology, IBM Research. "This research breakthrough has the potential to in-crease the performance of communication devices that enable people to interact with greater efficiency."

IBM noted that previously it has demonstrated standalone graphene transistors with a cut-off frequency as high as 100 GHz and 155 GHz for epitaxial and CVD graphene, for a gate length of 240 and 40 nm, respectively.