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Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. Scientists have now produced nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide.

 

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the nanoelectronics of the future: While graphene -- a one atom thin, honeycomb-shaped carbon layer -- is a conductive material, it can become a semiconductor in the form of nanoribbons. This means that it has a sufficiently large energy or band gap in which no electron states can exist: it can be turned on and off -- and thus may become a key component of nanotransistors.

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Category: Science