Pushing Electronic Devices Near the Fundamental Laws of Physics
In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore observed that the number of transistors placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit had increased exponentially, doubling approximately every two years since the circuit’s invention.
Since then, the relentless advance of Moore’s Law has brought us to the point where transistors are switched on and off with a few hundred electrons. And while there are obstacles to continue shrinking transistors, new opportunities exist at tiny, nanometer-length scales.
As Canada Research Chair in Nanoscale Electronics, Dr. Thomas Szkopek is working to continue Moore’s Law using graphene, a single atomic layer of carbon that electrons can flow through with surprisingly little resistance. Transistors fashioned from graphene have a number of remarkable properties, including ultra-high electron velocity and sensitive chemical-sensing ability. The carbon’s optical properties are equally remarkable, as a single layer can be seen using a standard light microscope.
Through his graphene research, Szkopek will develop new materials and transistors that drastically improve the performance of electronic devices, pushing them towards the limits imposed by fundamental physical laws.