HRL Scientists Demonstrate First Millimeter-wave Detectors Using Graphene Transistor Technology

(Nanowerk News) HRL scientists have demonstrated the world’s first graphene-based square-law millimeter detectors with the highest linear dynamic range (>60 dB) ever measured in semiconductor detectors—a revolutionary advancement in electronics that could lead to unprecedented capabilities in high-bandwidth communications, imaging and radar systems. The high-performance graphene FET detectors out-performed current state-of-the-art CMOS or SiGe bipolar detector technology by more than 30 dB in linear dynamic range.
The researchers’ findings will be published online and in the October issue of IEEE Electron Device Letters.
The work is another significant achievement in the Carbon Electronics for RF Applications, or CERA program, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and under the management of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center. CERA aims to exploit the unique properties of graphene, which is fundamentally different than materials currently used in high-frequency electronics. HRL is collaborating on the program with a group of universities and the Naval Research Laboratory.
HRL began work on CERA in July 2008, demonstrating the world’s first graphene RF transistors. “This latest breakthrough presents a significant step in using graphene transistors in RF applications,” noted HRL senior scientist and program lead Jeong-sun Moon.
About HRL Laboratories
HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California ( is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.
Source: HRL Laboratories (press release)
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