As we approach the 10th anniversary of the landmark graphene results by Geim, Novoselov, de Heer and coworkers, persistent questions remain regarding the prospects of graphene and similar two-dimensional atomic sheets (MX2, h-BN, etc) in enabling ubiquitous nanotechnology. After roaming the playgrounds of the flatlands for the last decade, we present realistic perspectives on the application of 2D materials in meeting national grand challenges for electronic systems beyond Moore’s law. The future realization of ubiquitous 2D nanotechnology demands translational research over a vast landscape from theoretical physics to demonstrated electronic systems.
In this talk, we discuss our adventures in the flatland focusing on basic research on material synthesis and properties, and applied research employing 2D nanomaterials for energy-efficient and high-performance electronic systems. Several innovations including embedded precursors, catalyst crystallization and record grain growth have enabled wafer-scale synthesis that has now been deployed in commercial 300mm wafer systems. Likewise, our efforts on electro-chemical delamination of 2D sheets are scaling up for environmentally-sustainable roll-to-roll processes. For device studies, innovations in interface interaction/polarization, heat management, thin-film size engineering have led to state-of-the-art flexible 2D nanoelectronics featuring extremely robust properties, anti-bacterial protection, record carrier mobilities, and record cut-off frequencies on soft films. We conclude this talk by presenting our vision of a new paradigm of the flatland beyond the homogenous present of nature.
Dr. Deji Akinwande received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2009, where he conducted research on the synthesis, device physics, and circuit applications of carbon nanotubes and graphene. His Master’s research in Applied Physics at Case Western Reserve University pioneered the design and development of near-field microwave probe tips for nondestructive imaging and studies of materials.
He is currently an Assistant Professor with the University of Texas, Austin. The current focus of his research explores materials and electronic systems based on 2D atomic layers. He is a co-inventor of a high-frequency chip-to-chip interconnect and an electrically small antenna for bio-electronics. Prof. Akinwande has been honored with the IEEE Nano Geim and Novoselov Graphene Prize, the NSF CAREER award, the Army and DTRA Young Investigator awards, the 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, and was a past recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Stanford DARE Initiative. He is one of the directors of the NASCENT ERC center at UT-Austin. He recently co-authored a textbook on carbon nanotubes and graphene device physics by Cambridge University Press, 2011. His work on flexible graphene systems was selected as among the “best of 2012” by the nanotechweb online technology news portal.