The world gets cooler by the day. Yet another of graphene’s unusual properties – this time its stretchiness – has brought it to the fore, as a team of researchers in South Korea have used the material to build stretchable transistors.
Qubits and Pieces
News from the frontline of the weird and wonderful world of quantum computing. From the theoretical musings of solid state physicists to breakthroughs you might actually see in a data centre in your lifetime, we'll be keeping an eye on stuff that matters in materials science, including graphene, condensed matter, diamonds and so on. And last, but by no mean least, we'll be tracking the spin on spintronics. Just don't mention room temperature.
Lucy Sherriff is a journalist, science geek and general liker of all things techie and clever. In a previous life she put her physics degree to moderately good use by writing about science for that other tech website, The Register. After a bit of a break, it seemed like a good time to start blogging about weird quantum stuff for ZDNet. And so here we are.
The promise of wonder material graphene to transform electronics, computing and the world at large has prompted scientists to hunt for other two dimensional materials. Silicene is one example, graphene oxide is another but they are not alone.
Turns out King Midas was a man ahead of his time. If he’d be born now, he’d be really useful in graphene production.
Graphene has revealed yet more interesting characteristics, as researchers in the US investigate the way the two-dimensional form of carbon reacts to light. Regular readers will not be surprised to learn that it differs a little from a typical semi-conductor.
Teleporting electrons between two points on a wire is just the kind of high end juggling act that deserves some applause. And since it is also the latest nifty trick being hailed as the "first major step on the road to building a quantum computer", it is the kind of trick worth mentioning here.
ZDNet’s own Rupert Goodwins once told me that he liked to say "room temperature" in the hearing of spintronics researchers, just to see their faces fall.But increasingly, spintronics researchers are talking about real room temperature experiments, and we have another example for you.
Good news from the research labs of the University of California, Berkeley: the scientists buried deep within the University’s electrical engineering department might have found a way to cool all our computers down, and get us back on the Moore’s Law highway.(And speaking as someone whose laptop keyboard is currently almost too hot to type on, this news seems very good indeed).
Two teams of US researchers have got their eye on graphene to advance the state of the art in medical imaging, communications and security screening, thanks to its strong response to the terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum.Writing in Nature Nanotechnology, scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley, explain how nanoribbons of graphene could form the "beginnings of a toolset" for working with terahertz radiation.
One of graphene’s more intriguing qualities is that it is capable of absorbing light of any colour. This makes it less useful than silicon for making logic switches, because it is hard to switch off, but means it might just make a name for itself in solar panels.
Californian researchers have combined quantum memory with a quantum processor for the first time, making a quantum chip based on von Neumann architecture. The chip needs to be cooled to within a whisker of absolute zero to work, but the work has brought programmable quantum RAM - a "key component" of a future quantum computer – into the real world.