If you think silicon chips are an amazing feat of technology, you are about to get your mind blown. Researchers have successfully made the first sheet of single-atom thick silicene for use in transistors.
Graphene, which is also one atom thick, but is made from carbon, used to be the focus of researchers’ attention. However, computer engineer Deji Akinwande at the University of Texas recently created the first silicene-based transistors.
Silicene is, in theory, better for the tech-manufacturing world than graphene because computer chips are already made from silicon. Adjusting to the silicene process would be easier than converting to carbon-based chipmaking.
Silicene was first created in 2012 by Patrick Vogt of Technical University in Germany in collaboration with colleagues at Aix-Marseille University in France.
Akinwande was able to manipulate the complex material by “growing silicene on a thin film of silver capped with aluminum oxide.”
The resulting sheet of silicene is then affixed to a silicon dioxide wafer to create the transistors, which apparently allow the electrons to move through them with astonishing speed.
Researchers note that we are still years away from seeing silicene in our computers because it is difficult and costly to make in mass quantities. However, the fact that transistors have been successfully made proves that it is absolutely possible to see the materials used someday in the future.
Via: American Live Wire