Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have introduced and modeled an integrated circuit design scheme in which transistors and interconnects are monolithically patterned seamlessly on a sheet of graphene, a 2-dimensional plane of carbon atoms. The demonstration offers possibilities for ultra energy-efficient, flexible, and transparent electronics.

Proposed fabrication steps of an all-graphene circuit. (UCSB Nanoelectronics Research Lab)

Bulk materials commonly used to make CMOS transitors and interconnects pose fundamental challenges in continuous shrinking of their feature-sizes and suffer from increasing "contact resistance" between them, both of which lead to degrading performance and rising energy consumption. Graphene-based transistors and interconnects are a promising nanoscale technology that could potentially address issues of traditional silicon-based transistors and metal interconnects.

The proposed all-graphene circuits have achieved 1.7X higher noise margins and 1-2 decades lower static power consumption over current CMOS technology. With the ongoing worldwide efforts in patterning and doping of graphene, such circuits can be realized in the near future.