The Carbon Electronics for RF Applications (CERA) (formerly Co-integration of Carbon-Based RF (Radio Frequency) Electronics with Silicon Technology (CrEST)) program seeks to develop metal oxide silicon field effect transistors based on the planar carbon monolayer (graphene) system, which has most of the desirable properties of carbon nanotubes, but is found in a planar geometry that is much more compatible with standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processing. Graphene field effect transistor devices are envisioned to be an enhancement of, not a replacement for, silicon CMOS for critical radio frequency or mixed signal circuit elements.
The Carbon Electronics for RF Applications (CERA) program will develop wafer-scale graphene synthesis approaches for ultra high-speed, low-power graphene field effect transistors for RF/millimeter-wave circuits. Graphene films are attractive for transistor channels given the potential for high charge carrier mobility, saturation velocity, current-carrying capability, and thermal conductivity. The thin (single atomic layer) geometry and potential to integrate with traditional CMOS processes offer potential for graphene-based transistors with high-performance at low power for high-integration-density RF system-on-chip applications. The CERA program focuses on a comprehensive approach that combines revolutionary advances in carbon epitaxial growth, transistor development, and RF circuit design. CERA will develop techniques to synthesize high-quality graphene films on a wafer scale, to engineer a graphene bandgap, to build high-performance RF transistors, and to integrate transistors for a low-power, high-performance low-noise amplifier at millimeter wave frequencies. Numerous technical challenges will be overcome, including monolayer control of the graphene synthesis process over large wafer areas, demonstration of high-mobility graphene-channel FETs, fabrication of low-resistance contacts, nanometer-scale patterning of graphene ribbons, and development of accurate device models for RF circuit design. The successful development of graphene-based RF electronics will lead to ultra high-speed, ultra low-power RF circuits, which will have significant impact on low-power RF sensors for DoD systems requiring high sensitivity.
Dr. Dev Palmerdev.email@example.com