Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Graphene on its way to conquer Silicon Valley

The remarkable material graphene promises a wide range of applications in future electronics that could complement or replace traditional silicon technology.

Researchers of the Electronic Properties of Materials Group at the University of Vienna have now paved the way for the integration of graphene into the current silicide based technology. They have published their results in the new open access journal of the Nature Publishing group, Scientific Reports.

The above images were taken with the spectroscopy method ARPES while NiSi was formed under the graphene layer. In the final image (d) scientists can identify a particular spectrum (the linear Dirac-like spectrum of grapheme electrons) indicating that the graphene interacts only weakly with the metal silicides and therefore preserves its unique properties.(Copyright: Vilkov et al., Sci. Rep. 2013, DOI: 10.1038/srep02168)

The unique properties of graphene such as its incredible strength and, at the same time, its little weight have raised high expectations in modern material science. Graphene, a two-dimensional crystal of carbon atoms packed in a honeycomb structure, has been in the focus of intensive research which led to a Nobel Prize of Physics in 2010. One major challenge is to successfully integrate graphene into the established metal-silicide technology. Scientists from the University of Vienna and their co-workers from research institutes in Germany and Russia have succeeded in fabricating a novel structure of high-quality metal silicides all nicely covered and protected underneath a graphene layer. These two-dimensional sheets are as thin as single atoms.

Following Einstein's footsteps
In order to uncover the basic properties of the new structure the scientists need to resort to powerful measurement techniques based on one of Einstein’s brilliant discoveries – the photoelectric effect. When a light particle interacts with a material it can transfer all its energy to an electron inside that material. If the energy of the light is sufficiently large, the electron acquires enough energy to escape from the material. Angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) enables the scientists to extract valuable information on the electronic properties of the material by determining the angle under which the electrons escape from the material. "Single-atom thick layers and hybrid materials made thereof allow us to study a wealth of novel electronic phenomena and continue to fascinate the community of material scientists. The ARPES method plays a key role in these endeavours", say Alexander Grueneis and Nikolay Verbitskiy, members of the Electronic Properties of Materials Group at the University of Vienna and co-authors of the study.
Graphene keeping its head up high
The graphene-capped silicides under investigation are reliably protected against oxidation and can cover a wide range of electronic materials and device applications. Most importantly, the graphene layer itself barely interacts with the silicides underneath and the unique properties of graphene are widely preserved. The work of the research team, therefore, promises a clever way to incorporate graphene with existing metal silicide technology which finds a wide range of applications in semiconductor devices, spintronics, photovoltaics and thermoelectrics.

The work on graphene related materials is financed by a Marie Curie fellowship of the European commission and an APART fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Original publication:
"Controlled assembly of graphene-capped nickel, cobalt and iron silicides":
O. Vilkov, A. Fedorov, D. Usachov, L. V. Yashina, A. Generalov, K. Borygina, N. I. Verbitskiy, A. Grueneis, and D. V. Vyalikh Scientific Reports, July 9, 2013,

DOI: 10.1038/srep02168

Scientific Contact:
Dr. Alexander Grueneis
Electronic Properties of Materials
Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna
Boltzmanngasse 5, 1090 Vienna
M +43-664-602 77-513 72

Michaela Wein | Universität Wien
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht From ancient fossils to future cars
21.10.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Study explains strength gap between graphene, carbon fiber
20.10.2016 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>