WARF: P100012US02

Large-Area, Nanoperforated Graphene Materials for Semiconducting Applications


Michael Arnold, Padma Gopalan, Myungwoong Kim, Nathaniel Safron

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a method to fabricate nanoperforated graphene.
OVERVIEWRecently, interest and research in graphene has grown rapidly due to its outstanding electrical properties. Graphene, a two-dimensional carbon-based material, has high tensile strength, stiffness, optical transparency and thermal conductivity. It is also chemically stable and patternable using photolithography. In addition, the potential mobility of electronic free carriers in response to an external electric field is significantly faster in graphene than in silicon.

Graphene’s exceptional properties could enable the development of next-generation, high performance electronics and improved transistor logic circuits. Unfortunately, graphene’s usefulness is limited because it does not have a significant band gap, a critical property for semiconductor applications. Electron-beam lithography has been used to fabricate nanostructured graphene with semiconducting behavior. However, the critical nanoscale dimensions needed to open significant band gap are on the threshold of conventional electron-beam lithography capabilities, which are limited by electron scattering effects. Electron-beam lithography also is limited by its throughput and applicability to large-area patterning. An improved technique for forming nanoperforated graphene material that is applicable to large areas is needed.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed methods to fabricate nanoperforated graphene by etching periodic arrays of nanoscale holes into graphene sheets. The features of the periodic array of holes, including diameter, spacing and constrictions between holes, can be fabricated with dimensions smaller than 20 nm and are designed to provide an electronic band gap of at least 100 meV.

The methods comprise forming an etch mask that defines a periodic array of holes over single or multiple layers of graphene material that has been grown or deposited onto a support material. A perforated structure is formed by depositing and patterning the masking layer onto the graphene via a pattern-defining block copolymer, which may also include a wetting and a neutral layer. Once patterned, the graphene is etched to form interconnected graphene strips that behave as semiconductors with a sufficient band gap. The method provides control over the size and pattern of the holes, which allows the material to be tailored for specific material properties and applications.
  • High performance electronics
  • Thin-film flexible electronics
  • Transparent electronics
  • Transistor logic circuits
  • Individual and networked field effect transistors
  • Optoelectronics and photodetectors
  • Solar cells
  • Magnetic, mechanical and chemical sensing
  • Filtration
  • Enables utilization of the material properties of graphene
  • Controls feature size to allow tailored material properties
  • Allows features with dimensions of less than 20 nm
  • Provides electronic band gap of at least 100 meV
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTThe development of this technology was supported by the WARF Accelerator Program. The Accelerator Program selects WARF’s most commercially promising technologies and provides expert assistance and funding to enable achievement of commercially significant milestones. WARF believes that these technologies are especially attractive opportunities for licensing.
For More Information About the Inventors
Related Intellectual Property
  • Kim M., Safron N., Han E., Arnold M. and Gopalan P. 2010. Fabrication and Characterization of Large-Area, Semiconducting Nanoperforated Graphene Materials. Nano. Lett. 10, 1125-1131.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at or 608-960-9846.
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