Graphene Promise - Will This Become Super Wireless

First produced in 2004 at the University Manchester by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov graphene has the potential to give us a new era in many different technological areas. One area in particular that has sparked huge interest not only in the scientific but in the also in the business communities is electronics.

Graphene is a single sheet of carbon one atom thick, in a honeycomb type structure. Electrons move through graphene with very little resistance - 50 to 500 times faster than silicon. Graphene is promising faster more efficient and cheaper wireless devices than silicon based electronics and is set to topple over 60 years of silicon dominance within the electronics industry?

One such area of technology is wireless communications. Researchers at IBM have recently demonstrated effectively the most advanced integrated circuitry made of the wafer-scale graphene. Director of physical sciences at IBM Research, Supratik Guha says. "This is the first time that someone has shown graphene devices and circuits to perform modern wireless communication functions comparable to silicon technology," This sounds simple but in actual fact it's anything but.

Silicon semiconductors are easy to control because of the bandgap, this bandgap is the difference in energy up to which electrons cannot flow across a material however, graphene has no bandgap, and getting the graphene to turn 'Off' is conductivity has proven quite a challenge.

A remarkably promising application of graphene is that of graphene enabled Wireless Communications. Graphene based antennas (graphene) whose effects allow them to radiate EM waves in the terahertz band. Studies have shown that this frequency band is up to double of the magnitude below the optical frequencies at which metallic antennas of the same size resonate, enhancing the transmission range of graphenas and lowering the requirements on the transceivers.

In essence, graphene enables the implementation of nanoantennas many times smaller in size that are just not achievable with current metallic materials. Researchers at Georgia Tech have already drawn up their plans for an atom thin antenna made of graphene that will achieve terabit-per-second transfer speeds which is effective at short ranges. Within a second you could have ten HD films on your mobile device.

It is early days for this new material. Up until recently graphene has been difficult to mass produce however, it is only a matter of time before this is solved and when it is will, it will rush in a new error of mobile devices and wireless connectivity that leaves any previous technology in the dust.