IBM (NYSE: IBM) is a multinational technology and consulting corporation based in the US. IBM operates several research labs around the world and they are researching graphene related technologies - mostly graphene based transistors and photo detectors.
In July 2014, IBM launched an ambitious 5-year $3 billion research initiative to find a silicon replacement for computer chips. Graphene is one of the materials under consideration.
The latest IBM graphene news:
Recent reports indicate the issue of a patent assigned to IBM, regarding a graphene resistor based tamper resistant identifier with contactless reading. The invention seems to relate to an identification system that is more immune to copying than traditional barcodes.
The method for creating this invention includes arranging an array of graphene resistors in parallel or series. The method also includes forming a unique identification code based on respective temperatures emanating from respective voltages output from the graphene resistors when the array of graphene resistors is in a powered state. Another aspect described in the patent application is an authentication apparatus that includes a plurality of graphene resistors with a bandgap voltage generation circuit or a bandgap current generation circuit connected to the plurality of graphene resistors for powering up the plurality of graphene resistors in the powered state.
IBM developed a new method to use graphene as a substrate for single-crystalline semiconductor film growth. Graphene will be less expensive than current single-crystalline wafers used in such production methods, as it can be reused indefinitely.
IBM says that growing a 4" GaN film today requires a 4" SiC substrate wafer which is destroyed using the process. The SiC costs about $3,000. Graphene can be used to replace the SiC and will be much cheaper in the long run. Graphene is also useful as it is flexible and can be better adapted for films that need to be transferred to a flexible substrate.
Researchers from Spain's University of Santiago de Compostela and IBM developed an extremely simple method to make high-quality well-defined nano graphene flakes from perylene, a common organic compound.
The new method uses arynes as molecular glue to paste graphene fragments together. This results in "clover-shaped" graphene flakes that are deposited on thin insulating films. It is possible to create those nano flakes in different sizes and shapes.
IBM is an embarking on an ambitious project to find the next-generation chip technology to replace silicon. IBM will invest $3 billion over the next five years in this project. IBM will look into graphene, carbon nanotubes, quantum computing, silicon photonics and more technologies.
In the first stage of the project, they will try to build transistors in a 7 nm process, which they believe is already possible using silicon technology available today. But the second stage will look into different materials and architectures. IBM says that it is getting more and more difficult to shrink silicon chips further and silicon is reaching its limits.
IBM researchers built a graphene (GFET) based radio frequency receiver IC which they say is the world's most advanced IC ever made of graphene - in fact it offers 10,000 times better performance and any previously reported effort.
IBM's circuit consists of three graphene transistors, four inductors, two capacitors, and two resistors. All circuit components are fully integrated into a 0.6 mm2 area and fabricated in a 200 mm silicon production line. The researchers say that those the circuits consume less than 20 mW power to operate, while also demonstrating the highest conversion gain of any graphene RF circuits at multiple GHz frequency.