Designer materials create miniature computer circuits

Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered a new method of creating optoelectronic circuits using graphene and other 2D materials that are much smaller than their current counterparts. Optoelectronics, the technology that uses pulses of light rather than traditional electrical signals, is vital for telecommunication networks. Modulators are important in optoelectronic circuits as they control the signals passed through optoelectronic devices. Previous attempts to create hybrid modulators incorporating graphene have yielded promising although limited results. Writing in Nature Communications, researchers led by Professor Sasha Grigorenko have shown it is possible to combine graphene, its sister material boron nitride and a nanoscale gold grating to create a new class of optical modulator. Graphene is the world ‘s first two-dimensional material, just one atom thick yet 200 times stronger than steel, more conductive than copper and impermeable to water.”