Physical structural and behavioral integration of graphene devices
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The strategic importance of microelectronics is reflected in its ubiquity in the global production network and in our daily lives. Above all, the microelectronics revolution has been enabled and driven by the scalability of the silicon transistor and the computational efficiency of its CMOS architecture. While the semiconductor industry has been incredibly adept at pushing the boundaries of scaling in the last few decades, many factors suggest that silicon technology is running into scientific and practical limitations to further scaling. Thus, the push for a beyond-silicon computing platform is imperative. Akin to the transition from bipolar to MOSFET technology or from NMOS to CMOS architecture, the industry is once again looking for the next disruptive technology to continue the exponential growth of computing power. In 2004, two research groups, one from the University of Manchester and the other from Georgia Tech, reported on the electrical properties of ultrathin graphite. Their findings demonstrated the stability of graphene, an atomic layer of graphite, as well as its superb carrier mobility, spurring the semiconductor industry to invest in the material as a candidate for a beyond-silicon computing platform. Within this framework, this thesis explores the promise of graphene as a material and technological platform for electronic devices. The objectives of the thesis are (i) to elucidate opportunities and challenges in the design and fabrication of graphene field-effect devices, and (ii) to advance a new device platform based on graphene p-n junctions.