Journey Along the Carbon Road

By Zhihong Chen

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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Carbon has been the material of choice over the last few years when it comes to exploratory nano-devices and applications. Carbon nanotubes and graphene, both have proven to exhibit outstanding electrical properties that are worth harvesting. My presentation will elucidate why carbon based materials are an excellent choice for a wide variety of electronic applications.

In particular, I will discuss two distinct topics: In the first part of my talk I will present results on carbon nanotubes focusing on high performance computing with the aim to replace silicon in logic device applications. Specifically, the ballistic transport regime that has been reached with the shortest nanotube devices fabricated to date will be discussed in details. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss important aspects of electronic transport in graphene devices. The first direct measurement of quantum capacitance of graphene will be shown followed by a brief discussion of its indication to device scaling and a potential application as a varactor. Making a good contact to graphene remains a big challenge in the field. I will present our understanding of the contact interface based on measurements of a unique dual gate device structure which allows us to extract both contact coupling strength and contact doping level. Dirac point is often used as a measure of doping level in graphene devices. I will show that it is not a valid indicator for graphene devices with short channel effects.


Zhihong Chen Zhihong Chen received her B.S. degree in physics from Fudan University in 1998, and her Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Florida in 2003. After two years of postdoctoral research at IBM T.J. Watson research center, she became a research staff member in the Physical Science Department. Her research focused on the physical properties of carbon based materials, which involved design and fabrication of high performance devices and circuits. In 2008, she was appointed as the manager of the Carbon Technology Group at IBM, where she was in charge of evaluating the potential of carbon materials and the development of novel carbon based technologies for commercial applications. Since Oct. 2010, she joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, as an associate professor.

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  • Zhihong Chen (2012), "Journey Along the Carbon Road,"

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