Sruthi Kuriakose

Innovation:
Tailored 2D nanomaterial

PhD candidate, RMIT University; Master of Engineering (Electronics), RMIT University

RMIT University's Sruthi Kuriakose

Moore’s Law observes that the number of transistors it is possible to put on a computer chip will double every 18 to 24 months.

However, conventional semiconductor-based devices, like all electronic and opto-electronic gadgets, use conventional semiconductor materials like silicon.

As silicon reaches its physical limits of operation, new advancements in computing are at risk of being unable to continue growing as Moore’s law predicts. Beyond 2021, new materials and technologies will be required to shrink the size of electronics.

RMIT PhD candidate Sruthi Kuriakose’s work has addressed this problem by exploiting and manipulating quantum confinement-induced properties in atomically thin materials.

This breakthrough allows multi-functionality that could enable high-speed electronics, novel brain-like devices and ultraviolet sensors.

This breakthrough allows multi-functionality that could enable high-speed electronics, novel brain-like devices and ultraviolet sensors.

“The breakthrough is achieved by using a sequential set of combinations of quantum physics of the nanomaterials and micro-nano fabrication techniques,” Kuriakose explains.

“The nanomaterial black phosphorus was tailored to desired thicknesses by bombarding it with different gases under high pressure.”

By demonstrating a series of futuristic applications based on this engineered layer, which is thinner than the operating thickness limits of bulk silicon, Kuriakose’s work presents a major leap towards small, energy efficient yet more powerful electronics and opto-electronics.

“I have also fabricated electronic devices on rigid and fl exible substrates using the nanomaterial black phosphorus at micro-nano scale for realising the working of a fi eld-effect transistor and mimicking brain cells activated by light stimulation,” she says.

“This allows us to downscale the key electronic device components and create synthetic sensory organs like artificial retina.”

Semiconductor industry giants like IBM, Intel, Samsung and HP are urgently focused on finding viable alternative semiconductors to silicon.

Work like Kuriakose’s could create long-lasting economic benefi t for Australia and will attract significant interest from key multinational corporations and industry sectors.

Judges’ comments:

“An important area of research. This kind of innovation could have far-reaching implications given it could apply across all computing.”

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