Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

Australian scientists in nanotechnology breakthrough

New material could be used in smaller, faster electronic devices in the near future
An artist's impression of high carrier mobility through layered molybdenum oxide crystal lattice

An artist's impression of high carrier mobility through layered molybdenum oxide crystal lattice

Scientists at the CSIRO and RMIT University have discovered a new two-dimensional nano-material that could pave the way for the creation of even smaller computing devices that offer big improvements in processing speed.

The material is made up of layers of crystal known as ‘molybdenum oxides’, which have unique properties that encourage the free flow of electrons at ultra-high speeds.

Speaking to CIO Dr Serge Zhuiykov, a scientist at the CSIRO, said the team had created layers of material as thin as 10 nanometres, significantly thinner than the current electronic industry benchmark of between 20 and 30 nanometres for silicon-based chips.

Researchers created this new conductive nano-material using ‘graphene’, which was developed in 2004 by scientists in the UK and won its investors a Nobel Prize in 2010. Although graphene supports high speed electrons, its physical properties have prevent it from being used for high-speed electronics.

The researchers used a process called ‘exfoliation’ to create the thin layers of material. This material was manipulated to convert it into a semiconductor and nanoscale transistors were then created using molybdenum oxide.

Dr Zhuiykov said the material – made up of layered sheets similar to graphite layers in a pencil’s core – provides a unique structure where electrons can be transferred at high speeds with minimal ‘scattering’.

RMIT professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, said that instead of scattering which they hit ‘roadblocks’ in conventional material, they “simply pass through this new material and get through the structure faster.”

“Quite simply, if electrons can pass through a structure quicker, we can build devices that are smaller and transfer data at much higher speeds.”

Dr Zhuiykov said that mobile phones that use this technology, for instance, will be smaller in size and also provides instant downloads from the Internet because the capabilities of the electronics will be much greater.

Dr Zhuiykov could not predict potential increases in processing speed as a result of the discovery.

“This material is at the proof-of-concept [stage] – we have created a prototype of measured all of the characteristics, which were quite impressive” he said.

It may be a few years before the technology can be licensed to electronics hardware manufacturers, he added.

The CSIRO and RMIT also worked with researchers from Monash University, the University of California – Los Angeles, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the project.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

Comments are now closed.
Related Coverage
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Tags: CSIRO, RMIT University, molybdenum oxide, Dr Serge Zhuiykov, nanotechnology
Latest Blog Posts
  • Migrating from BlackBerry? See Our Trusted Method.
    Are your business leaders demanding a migration plan from BlackBerry? Let the mobile experts at Good help you migrate without migraines. Our Professional Services team has deep experience supporting Fortune 500 organizations through the transition; read this sample planning chart and see our trusted method.
    Learn more »
  • eBook - Flash Buyers Guide
    This paper provides a guide for evaluating and selecting the best all-flash storage for your enterprise class environment. The detailed content covers all product classes and where they can be best applied to your circumstances, as well as what the key elements are for each to avoid potential pitfalls in the selection process.
    Learn more »
  • How to Successfully Select an ERP System
    An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a series of software applications that collect and compiles data from different departments to enhance collaboration and co-ordination within the business. If you’re looking to implement your first ERP system, or to upgrade from an existing system, this whitepaper offers eight simple steps for selection that will lead to long-term strategic success.
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index

Recent comments