Seeking graphene bandgap

Gabriel Denham carried out a computational analysis of the possibility of introducing an organic amide into graphene in order to create an electronic bandgap in the material.Denham analyzed the potential for electronics applications using molecular dynamics software and density functional theory while working under Professor Markus Buehler, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

According to Denham, “Graphene has no bandgap and boron nitride has too large a bandgap to be actually used for those applications right now.” However, “both boron nitride and graphene are potential candidates for high-powered semiconductors that could potentially replace silicon.”We are employing a bio-binder, which is a fancy term for a molecule that is entirely natural and can be found in pig manure.

We are particularly interested in the amide portion of this bio-binder, which exhibits a significant delocalization of electrons.By placing it close to either graphene or boron nitride, we hope to observe an electronic reaction that results in either the formation of a bandgap in graphene or its reduction in boron nitride.”