30 July 2012 Researchers ‘cut the graphene cake’ Researchers have demonstrated that wonder material graphene can be used as a building block to create 3d crystal structures which are not confined by what nature can produce. The team at the University of Manchester says that sandwiching individual graphene sheets between insulating layers could open up an entirely new dimension of research. The scientists showed that a new side view imaging technique can be used to visualise the individual atomic layers of graphene within the devices they built. They found that the structures were almost perfect even when more than 10 different layers were used to build the stack. This result indicates that the latest techniques of isolating graphene could be a big step forward for engineering at the atomic level as well as giving more weight to graphene's suitability for next gen computer chips. The side view imaging approach works by extracting a thin slice from the centre of the device. The researchers used a beam of ions to cut into the surface of the graphene and dig a trench on either side of the section they wanted to isolate. "The difference is that our slices are only around 100 atoms thick and this allows us to visualise the individual atomic layers of graphene in projection," commented Dr Sarah Haigh at the University of Manchester's school of materials. "We have found that the observed roughness of the graphene is correlated with their conductivity." The researchers also observed that the layers were perfectly clean and that any debris left over from production segregated into isolated pockets and did not affect device performance. The University of Manchester is currently building a National Graphene Institute in a bid to lead the way in graphene research. Author Simon Fogg Comment on this article Websites http://www.manchester.ac.uk This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team. Enjoy this story? People who read this article also read... NIDays 2013 NIDays is a technical conference designed specifically for ... Read Article Southern Manufacturing This year, Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is set to be ... Read Article Claire Jeffreys, NEW Claire Jeffreys, events director, National Electronics Week, ... Read Article BEEAs 2010 shortlist announced Findlay Media has announced the shortlist for the 2010 British ... Read Article What you think about this article: Add your comments Name Email Comments Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published. Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.