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Silicene to beat graphene to market?

Posted on Tuesday, May 01 2012 @ 21:35:52 CEST by

VR Zone reports silicene could beat graphene to market. Silicene is a single-atom thick layer of silicon, full details over here.
Graphene is a truly wondrous molecular structure. Since its discovery a few years ago, scientists have become more and more excited about the possibilities graphene affords. It is the most conductive material in the known universe with surprising optical qualities, and IBM has shown that graphene could allow computers to operate close to the terahertz range (one terahertz, or THz, is equal to roughly 1,000 gigahertz, or GHz). The problem is that graphene does not have a band gap. A band gap is the difference in energy from an on state, where electrons are flowing through a circuit, and an off state, where no electron motion is possible. Without a band gap, it’s extremely difficult to build transistors, which have to be able to switch from “on” to “off” and back again very quickly. Some progress in creating a band gap in graphene has been made, but the material is still years or possibly decades away from being used in current computer components...



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