Ryan M. Gelfand, an assistant professor in CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, at University of Central Florida (UCF) was a graduate student at Northwestern University when he began researching the concept with fellow grad student Joseph Friedman, who is now an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.
As reported this month in Nature Communications, Friedman, Gelfand and their fellow researchers have theorized a next-generation transistor that's based not on silicon but on a ribbon of graphene, a two-dimensional carbon material with the thickness of a single atom.
Their findings have big implications for electronics, computing speeds and big data, said Gelfand, who came to UCF in 2015.
"If you want to continue to push technology forward, we need faster computers to be able to run bigger and better simulations for climate science, for space exploration, for Wall Street. To get there, we can't rely on silicon transistors anymore," said Gelfand, the director of the NanoBioPhotonics Laboratory at UCF.