Monash University Background
Until recently, the challenge for computing has been size and speed; as an example, IBM announced their 7nm chip in late 2016. However, the next big challenge is not faster or smaller computing, but more efficient energy usage.
Energy usage for computing has been recognized by the Breakthrough Energy Fund as one of the world’s major problems that need future solutions (Technical Quest: Extreme Efficiency in IT/ Data Centers).
Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions are linked to climate change. While energy production and chemical industries are the major CO2 producers, large Data Centers and computing technology in general are also contributing to CO2 emissions and energy needs; this is a fast growing problem.
By 2020, emissions from Data centers are projected to reach >320 metric tons CO2 -equivalent per year, more than four times the CO2 emissions in 2007.
Researchers at Monash University have developed a method of forming a topological Dirac semimetal layer on a substrate (). The aim for this system is a ten-fold improvement in energy efficiency according to Moore’s Law.
The researchers envision a topological transistor in which an electric field from gate electrodes switches a material from conventional insulator to topological insulator. In the topological insulator, current will be carrier by ballistic 1D edge modes.
Using this 2D material, the researchers have developed an electric field-effect structure which can be used to alter the charge carrier density and band gap in a topological Dirac semimetal film. In an ultrathin topological Dirac semimetal they can tune the bandgap by over 400 meV, from conventional insulator to topological insulator, realizing a platform suitable for a topological transistor. ().
Novel IP on 2D materials
Demonstrated Bandgap and Switching
Awarded $34 million Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence (2017)
14 Australian and International Science Centers
Monash is actively seeking expert industry advisors to ensure that this program has commercial value and is meeting industry’s future needs. Monash will consider licensing and/ or partnering opportunities to develop this technology further.