Graphene breakthrough

Semiconductors nanowires grown on graphene

Last year’s most important scientific breakthrough in Norway was quite possibly semiconductors grown on graphene, according to the print magazine “Research”, which is published by the Research Council of Norway.

Semiconductors are materials that are not good electrical conductors in their pure
form, but under certain circumstances may conduct electricity well. The new method entails getting semiconductor nanowires to grow on graphene.

Graphene is the thinnest and strongest material ever made, and consists of only a single layer of carbon atoms. It is flexible and transparent. The end product is a hybrid material that acts as a semiconductor and is only one micron thick. For comparison, silicon semiconductors are often several hundred times thicker than this. The NTNU research group behind
the breakthrough was led by professors Helge Weman and Bjørn-Ove Fimland. It was featured in many Norwegian and international media, while the article on the Research Council’s website was read by 50 000 people. More than 70 000 people have seen a video clip on YouTube that illustrates the process.