New Research on Extremely Sensitive Graphene Detectors Published in Nature Communications

Professor Aimin Song’s team has published an article in Nature Communications on extremely sensitive microwave detector. The work has also led to a lot of news coverage.

The wonder material graphene has already been shown to have a wide range of applications, but the most anticipated and profound area of potential impact is in the electronics industry. The carrier mobility in graphene, which measures how fast the electrons travel in a material and hence determines the achievable performance of electronic components, is orders of magnitude higher than that in conventional semiconductors. However, to date, very few types of novel electronic device structures have been reported to harness this extraordinary property.

In this work, the team fabricates a novel device, called ballistic nano-rectifier, in very high-quality graphene which has a mobility around 200,000 cm2/Vs (close to the theoretical limit). The device has a single-layered device structure and is hence ideal for graphene. Furthermore, the four-terminal design with output channels orthogonal to the input terminals makes it possible for the device noise to be only limited by thermal noise. As a result, the obtained noise-equivalent power (the quantity that determines the minimum detectable power) is as low as 0.64 pW/Hz1/2 at room temperature. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the most sensitive solid-state detector. Such an unprecedented performance at room temperature is even comparable to that of the superconducting bolometers, which need to operate at cryogenic temperatures typically around 4K or -269 degrees Celsius.

The complete article can be read online at the Nature Communications website

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