University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Professor Balandin Receives $1.16M Funding for Graphene Research

Professor Balandin Receives $1.16M Funding for Graphene Research

Professor BalandinMaterials Science and Engineering Chair and Electrical Engineering Professor Alexander Balandin received the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) grant on development of graphene “quilts” for high-power GaN and SiC electronics. UCR receives $420K for the experimental proof-of-concept demonstrations to be conducted in Balandin’s Nano-Device Laboratory (NDL). Graphene is a new form of carbon materials, which was discovered by the Manchester, U.K. – Chernogolovka, Russia research group in 2004. It has a thickness of just one atom and reveals many unique properties such as extraordinary high electron mobility. The superior thermal conductivity of graphene was discovered in Balandin’s NDL in 2008. It is this property of graphene, which makes possible its applications in heat removal.  The higher speed, higher power densities and increased thermal residence in the state-of-the-art devices result in development of hot spots, performance degradation and thermal breakdown. The proposed graphene-based approach for thermal management represents a radical departure from conventional methods and might lead to creation of a new technology for hot-spot spreading.

Balandin’s ONR grant comes in addition to his two new subcontracts, which address different aspects of graphene research. The three-year subcontract from the Interconnect Focus Center (IFC), based at the Georgia Institute of Technology, deals with graphene interconnects and heat spreaders for three-dimensional (3D) electronics. According to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), in the next five years up to 80% of microprocessor power will be consumed by the interconnect wiring. The latter motivates IFC’s search for new interconnect materials and innovative methods of heat removal. The subcontract from the Functional Engineered Nano Architectonics (FENA), based at UCLA, addresses the problems of energy dissipation in graphene nanostructures and nanodevices. Both centers are funded by DARPA and SRC. The total new funding from ONR, IFC and FENA to Balandin group for research on different practical applications of graphene exceeds $1.16M.

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