PETDr. Pala received 3-year $620,000 grant from Dept of the Army — Materiel Command to perform research on  “A New Route Toward Systematic Control of Electronic Structures of Graphene and Fabrication of Graphene Field Effect Transistors”. The primary objective of this project is to develop a reliable technique of controlling energy bandgap of graphene with an ultimate goal of realizing integrated circuit of graphene based electronic devices.

Graphene has attracted considerable attention due to its unique electrical and optical properties in the recent years. However, there exists one critical obstacle that has so far prevented the graphene from being implemented into electronic device applications; the pristine graphene do not have band gaps that are essential for switching and transistor operation. We will tackle this challenge by systematically perturbing the graphene electronic structure through creating nanoscale holes (antidots) in a graphene or attaching nanoparticles on a graphene surface.

With the capability of systematic bandgap control, we will fabricate graphene-FETs and investigate their electrical characteristics, with an ultimate goal of realizing integrated circuits of graphene-based transistors. Superior charge transport properties of graphene can be exploited to fabricate very high speed FETs for conventional digital switching and radiofrequency (RF) applications as well as novel THz plasmonic applications to meet the needs of US Air Force’s future electronics