Science 327, 662 (2010)

Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon. Among its unusual properties is high electrical conductance: electrons glide much faster through graphene than other materials such as silicon, making graphene attractive for use in microchips.

Yu-Ming Lin, Phaedon Avouris and their colleagues at IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, have created a field-effect transistor — a key component of microchips — in which the channel, the part through which electrons flow, is made of graphene.

The graphene allowed the transistor to switch at speeds of up to 100 gigahertz, more than twice as fast as current silicon transistors.