Carbon connects

Graphene, the single-layer form of graphite being touted as the material of choice for a future generation of microelectronics, may have a lesser role to play sooner rather than later. Raghunath Murali and colleagues at Georgia Tech have now found that graphene could make the perfect replacement for the copper interconnects in future integrated circuits. They have measured the resistivity of graphene nanoribbons as narrow as 18 nanometers. They found it to be comparable to even the most optimistic projections for copper interconnects at that scale. This suggests that they might be useful for wiring circuits even before they become the material that supplants silicon.