Professor Monica Craciun and Dr Anna Baldycheva from Exeter’s Centre for Graphene Science (University of Exeter)

UK Researchers Develop New Cutting Edge 3-D Microchip for Faster, Future Computing

A new technique has been used to produce a 3-D chip that could revolutionise the next generation of computers by researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK and it would be cheapter than the existing techniques.

The devices called optoelectronic materials that produce, detect and control light for the next generation computers has several security features in compliance with the need for renewable energy technologies, the researchers said.

Anna Baldycheva, team lead from Exeter’s Centre for Graphene Science said: “The work provides a solid platform for the development of novel next-generation optoelectronic devices… The materials and methods used are extremely promising for a wide range of further potential applications beyond the current devices.”

The University of Exter researchers have been pioneering the new technique and were successful to produce high-quality, low cost graphene could produce the first truly flexible ‘electronic skin’, for use in robots.

The wonder material Graphene significantly cheaper, and easier, than previously thought. It could enable the development of artificial skin for use in robot manufacturing. Currently, industrial graphene is produced using a technique called Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). Although there have been significant advances in recent years in this technique, it is still an expensive and time consuming process, they said.

Professor Seigo Tarucha from the University of Tokyo, coordinator of the Global Center of Excellence for Physics at Tokyo university and director of the Quantum Functional System Research Group at Riken Center for Emergent Matter Science in an interview earlier noted that the ability to manufacture high quality, large area graphene at a cheaper cost would change the realm of conventional and quantum electronic applications.

True to the belief, the innovative new technique pioneered by Exeter researchers used microfluidics technology, with a series of minuscule channels to control the flow and direction of tiny amounts of fluid, which contain graphene oxide flakes, that are mixed together in the channels, to construct the chips.

Since the graphene oxide flakes are two-dimensional of length and width, researchers used a new light-based system to assemble the three-dimensional chip structure, that would make it faster and cheaper too. In their study, researchers said they their methodology serves as a blueprint for others to manufacture the new 3-dimensional chips.

The research findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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