Graphene – the one-atom thick 2D honeycomb lattice allotrope of carbon - is the basic building block of 3D graphite as well as of the 1D carbon nanotube and the 0D Fullerene. Isolated as late as 2004[Novoselov et al. Science 306, 66 (2004)], the electrical and mechanical properties of single and few-layer graphene have since then been explored at a breathtaking pace and proven to be quite unique. For example, graphene has extremely high electron mobility (200.000 cm2/Vs) and is an attractive alternative or complement to silicon for electronic applications.
At Chalmers we have SSF-funded 3-year programs on graphene-based high- frequency electronics and on carbon nanotube NEM-arrays for electronic and photonic components. Within these programs, both started in mid-2008, we focus on designing and characterizing graphene and carbon nanotube nanostructures for electronic devices and optical meta- materials. For high-performing devices the combination of material properties and device design needs careful optimization. The research is carried out in close collaboration between several theory-, experiment-, and device-oriented groups. In addition to electronic and optical devices, graphene-based nano-constrictions will be used in various sensor applications such as mass sensors and sensing of single molecules. Future work at Chalmers on nano carbon includes studies of coupling between electrical and mechanical degrees of freedom, carbon- based spintronics, and designing efficient thermocouples for energy efficiency.