Ling Zang, USTAR associate professor of materials science and engineering, has designed a new way of making graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms – for potential use in high-speed electronic devices.

 Zang and his collaborators from Arizona State University, Germany’s Max Planck Institute, and Tsinghua University in Beijing, have come up with an improved way of making graphene, a material with important electronic and optical properties that has potential use in such devices as lasers, lightning-fast computer chips, transistors, integrated circuits, photovoltaic cells, and ultracapacitors.

Graphene has a high carrier mobility and low noise, making it appealing for electronics applications.  However, making usable amounts of graphene is difficult. The researchers have designed a method to make graphene molecules using a “bottom-up” approach that starts with small building blocks for devices that are mass-produced and virtually identical, defect-free, and can be tuned and controlled by adjusting the size and shape of the molecules or by introducing side groups.

Read the researchers’ original paper published in Nature Communications’ online journal.