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Breakthrough graphene production method discovered by Israeli, Asian researchers

New method could revolutionize nanoelectronics

Crystalline molecular lattice of graphene (Photo: Shutterstock)

A team of researchers from Israel, Japan, China and South Korea have reportedly developed an innovative method for growing narrow and long strips of graphene in isolation. The results of the study were published in Nature Journal, a leading multidisciplinary science journal.

Graphene, a material obtained from graphite, plays a central role in several industries including health, energy, construction and especially the burgeoning nanoelectronics industry. Researchers believe the new production method could potentially revolutionize several technological applications, including quantum computing, where graphene serves as a semiconductor.

Prof. Michael Urbakh and Prof. Oded Hod from Tel Aviv University’s School of Chemistry participated in the multinational study, noting the practical importance of the empirical results.

"The significance of the new development lies in the fact that, for the first time, it’ll be possible to grow and produce carbon-based nanoelectronic devices directly within an isolated matrix. Such devices are expected to serve various technological applications, including electronic systems, spintronics, and quantum computing devices," the two Israeli professors assessed.

Graphene has been recognized for its numerous qualities, notably its exceptional strength, rendering it a prime candidate in nanoelectronics. This is especially true when the material is fashioned into narrow strips. The challenge was previously to find a way to cultivate strips of graphene that were sufficiently long and narrow for industry use. At the same time, it was a challenge to cultivate the graphene strips in a way that they were isolated from the surrounding environment.

The new joint study may have an enormous impact on the tech industry’s future development and direction.

Despite its tiny size, Israel has emerged as one of the world’s leading centers for technological innovation. Israel has earned the nickname, “Start-Up Nation,” because of its thriving ecosystem of innovative technology start-up companies and entrepreneurial culture.

Following the Hamas Oct. 7 attack on Israel, there were concerns that the Israeli tech industry was at risk, as many reservists were called up for military duty. However, Dr. Avi Hasson, one of Israel’s leading tech executives and CEO at Startup Nation Central, was optimistic about the future.

"I am less worried today than I was during the judicial overhaul period," Hasson said, "because in the end, more than anything else, our most important asset is the human capital. Israel is a hub of human, entrepreneurial infrastructure, with a unique environment, making it suitable for building startups.”

Earlier this year, a survey conducted by Ernst & Young, a global accounting firm, found that approximately 60% of multinational corporations operating in Israel are optimistic about the resilience of the Israeli tech sector, even in the face of the current war.

Prof. Yossi Matias, CEO of the Google Research and Development Center in Israel, said the optimism is shared by the majority of the international tech giants.

“Looking ahead to 2024, despite the challenging period, part of our essential role, is to be optimistic as some of us impact what will happen in the future, and I allow myself to be optimistic despite the difficulties and despite what we are going through and experience,” Matias assessed.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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