Graphene is – potentially – the new wonder-nanotech-material for the semiconductor industry (that’s the ‘chip’ business for computers and everything else digital). In the form of a pure carbon sheet with many interesting electrical properties, graphene is an upgrade for the old reliable silicon. [SciTechStory: Big news for nanoscale graphene] However, despite the many research studies pointing to the value of graphene, one important problem was manufacturing it in quantities large enough for industrial use. A new approach that grows high quality graphene on commercially available silicon carbide wafers is said to have excellent electronic properties. If this approach pans out as viable for mass production, it will be a major step in the direction of replacing silicon with graphene in semiconductor technology.
For those interested in a brief technical description there’s
In summary, we demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of graphene synthesis on cubic ?-SiC. A very simple procedure for obtaining graphene on the cheap, commercially available ?-SiC/Si wafers of large diameters represents a huge step toward technological application of this material as the synthesis is compatible with industrial mass production. The quality of graphene overlayers was characterized by a number of experimental techniques, indicating very weak interaction with the substrate, crucial for preservation of the astonishing intrinsic properties of graphene. The ability to grow large single-crystal domains is a major target of graphene growth. Despite lattice mismatching, the graphene growth is shown to be guided along the  crystallographic direction of the SiC(001) substrate, which might also encourage the formation of reasonable large domains of single-crystal graphene.
[Source: American Chemical Society]