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23 September 2008


IQE works with CERA program to develop graphene carbon-based RF technology

Epiwafer and substrate foundry IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK says that its Pennsylvania based operation will help develop a new generation of carbon-based RFICs as part of the Carbon Electronics for RF Applications (CERA) program, which began in July 2008. The DARPA sponsored work will investigate the unique qualities of graphene carbon-based RF technology to create components that will enable unprecedented capabilities in high-bandwidth communications, imaging, and radar systems, says IQE.

IQE is part of an HRL-lead team consisting of commercial, university and military research establishments under the CERA program to develop wafer-scale graphene synthesis approaches focused on enabling ultra-high-speed, low-power graphene-channel FETs. The CERA program aims to demonstrate high performance W-band (> 90 GHz) low noise amplifiers, making use of graphene transistors on wafers with diameters greater than or equal to 8 inches and with cross wafer yields in excess of 90%.

Steve Gergar, VP and general manager of IQE Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, said: "Graphene is an exciting new material for future generation, ultra-high speed, ultra-low power consumption radio frequency (RF) components for specialist applications. The use of highly advanced materials such as graphene is essential in developing components for the next generation of sophisticated military imaging systems and high-bandwidth communications systems"

Often referred to as a “semi-metal” or “zero-gap semiconductor”, graphene comprises a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms that are densely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice. The program team proposes to use advanced epitaxial processes to grow an organized layer of bandgap-engineered graphene carbon crystals on silicon-based wafers.

The CERA program is expected to be completed by September 2012.

See related items:

IQE introduces epitaxy services for MEMS

IQE reports growth in sales and profit

Graphene opens up to new possibilities on SiC

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