(Right) Professor Michael Weinert (Left) Graduate student Haihui Pu holding up a sculpture of the graphene monoxide (GMO) atomic structure
Graphene has been applied for a myriad of applications that include generators, solid state memory, and RF mixers to name a few. However, scientists from the University of Wisconsin have been successful at transforming graphene into a new substance which makes it ideal for use as a semiconductor.
The team of scientists and engineers were conducting experiments involving graphene-oxide heated inside a vacuum in order to reduce the oxygen content mixed throughout the on-atom thick material. Instead of eliminating the oxygen the team found that they created a new substance they call ‘graphene-monoxide’ (GMO). Actually, they succeeded in creating 4 new materials by varying the temperature inside the vacuum but all are collectively known as GMO. Graphene is extremely efficient when it comes to conducting electricity over gold and copper wiring, but until now the substance has only been applied as conductors and insulators.
GMO (graphene-monoxide), the team found, exhibits all three characteristics for electrical conductivity (conducting, insulating and semiconducting), which would be beneficial in making future electronics faster as we are reaching the end of how small we can go with silicon-based conductivity. The team is still exploring the exact details as to how they created this new substance and what the ideal conditions will be for its creation and destruction. Don’t expect GMO to be used as a semiconductor or implemented in near-future designs like new batteries anytime soon.
See more about graphene: