Introduction to graphene electronics - a new era of digital transistors and devices

Kam Chuen Yung, W. M. Wu, M. P. Pierpoint, F. V. Kusmartsev

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The speed of silicon-based transistors has reached an impasse in the recent decade, primarily due to scaling techniques and the short-channel effect. Conversely, graphene (a revolutionary new material possessing an atomic thickness) has been shown to exhibit a promising value for electrical conductivity. Graphene would thus appear to alleviate some of the drawbacks associated with silicon-based transistors. It is for this reason why such a material is considered one of the most prominent candidates to replace silicon within nano-scale transistors. The major crux here, is that graphene is intrinsically gapless, and yet, transistors require a band-gap pertaining to a well-defined ON/OFF logical state. Therefore, exactly as to how one would create this band-gap in graphene allotropes is an intensive area of growing research. Existing methods include nanoribbons, bilayer and multi-layer structures, carbon nanotubes, as well as the usage of the graphene substrates. Graphene transistors can generally be classified according to two working principles. The first is that a single graphene layer, nanoribbon or carbon nanotube can act as a transistor channel, with current being transported along the horizontal axis. The second mechanism is regarded as tunnelling, whether this be band-to-band on a single graphene layer, or vertically between adjacent graphene layers. The high-frequency graphene amplifier is another talking point in recent research, since it does not require a clear ON/OFF state, as with logical electronics. This paper reviews both the physical properties and manufacturing methodologies of graphene, as well as graphene-based electronic devices, transistors, and high-frequency amplifiers from past to present studies. Finally, we provide possible perspectives with regards to future developments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-251
Number of pages19
JournalContemporary Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2013


  • carbon nanotube
  • graphene
  • high-frequency amplifier
  • nanoribbon
  • transistor
  • tunnelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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