Graphene Flagship researchers have reported a new method to integrate graphene and 2D materials into semiconductor manufacturing lines, a milestone for the initiatives recently launched 2D Experimental Pilot Line (2D-EPL) — a €20 million project to bridge the gap between lab-scale manufacturing and large volume production of electronic devices based on two-dimensional materials.
Two-dimensional materials have a huge potential for providing devices with much smaller size and extended functionalities with respect to what can be achieved with today’s silicon technologies. The ability to integrate 2D materials into semiconductor manufacturing lines – a notoriously difficult step – is key to realising this potential.
A new technique to do this has been published in Nature Communications by researchers from Graphene Flagship partners RWTH Aachen University, Universität der Bundeswehr München and AMO GmbH, in Germany, Graphene Flagship Associate Member KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in Sweden, in collaboration with Protemics GmbH.
The integration of 2D materials with silicon or with a substrate with integrated electronics presents a number of challenges.
“There’s always this critical step of transferring from a special growth substrate to the final substrate on which you build sensors or components,” says Arne Quellmalz, researcher at Graphene Flagship Associate Member KTH and lead author of the paper. “You might want to combine a graphene photodetector for optical on-chip communication with silicon read-out electronics, but the growth temperatures of those materials is too high, so you cannot do this directly on the device substrate.”