The carbon material graphene has been predicted as one of the potential successors to silicon in semiconductors and microcircuits. Scientists at University of Illinois have managed to find yet another advantage of graphene that makes it even more suitable for circuits. Transistors made by graphene has displayed a unique ability to cool themselves when in contact with metal.

Circuits made by silicon have a high resistive heat development that lies as the base of the enormous development and resources that is put into cooling technologies to keep modern performance circuits well and healthy. 

When scientists at the university for the first time measured the temperature of an active graphene transistor they got results that shows lots of promise for the material as base of circuit manufacturing.

Through a atomic force microscope as the temperature reader the scientists could conclude that the graphene transistor did not create any resistive heat when the electrones came in contact with the metal nodes. The effect was on the contrary, where a high thermoelectric self-cooling effect lowered the temperature, something that hasn’t been seen proof of in graphene based circuits before.

“In silicon and most materials, the electronic heating is much larger than the self-cooling,” King said. “However, we found that in these graphene transistors, there are regions where the thermoelectric cooling can be larger than the resistive heating, which allows these devices to cool themselves. This self-cooling has not previously been seen for graphene devices.”

The self-cooling effect would enable circuits with considerably lower cooling requirements or perhaps even no cooling requirements. This on top of the advantages with frequency scaling where scientists have presented graphene transistors as fast as 100GHz make the interest for the material should only go up. Graphene has been around for some time, but it is still tricky to produce large amounts without contaminations or damage, which would be the next step in the development toward actual products.

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An aaotomic force microscope (afm) measures the temperature on graphene transistors

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