12 nanometer graphene oxide circuits can be produced using heated atomic force microscope tips.
The reduced form of graphene oxide (GO) is an attractive alternative to graphene for producing large-scale flexible conductors and for creating devices that require an electronic gap. We report on a means to tune the topographical and electrical properties of reduced GO (rGO) with nanoscopic resolution by local thermal reduction of GO with a heated atomic force microscope tip. The rGO regions are up to four orders of magnitude more conductive than pristine GO. No sign of tip wear or sample tearing was observed. Variably conductive nanoribbons with dimensions down to 12 nanometers could be produced in oxidized epitaxial graphene films in a single step that is clean, rapid, and reliable.
First, the entire process happens in one step. You go from insulating graphene oxide to a functional electronic material by simply applying a nano-heater. Second, we think that any type of graphene will behave this way. Third, the writing is an extremely fast technique. These nanostructures can be synthesized at such a high rate that the approach could be very useful for engineers who want to make nanocircuits.”
Graphene circuits have achieved 300 gigahertz speed and will soon achieve 1.2 to 1.4 terahertz. This will make them 300 times faster than conventional silicon circuits.