Forget Graphene, Silicene Is Here to Blow Your Mind

Let's see what it can do.

Researchers have just made the first sheet of single-atom thick silicon.

Patrick Vogt of Berlin's Technical University in Germany, along side researchers at Aix-Marseille University in France managed to create silicene by condensing silicon vapor onto a silver plate to form a single layer of atoms. They then tested the sheet and found that it closely matched the properties silicene was theorized to exhibit. The next (challenging) step will be to grow silicene on insulating substrates so that it can be fully tested and evaluated for potential future uses in electronics.

Tags: silicene

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Thank you dear Ruth!!!!

Ahoy germanae! One atom thick germanium!

Faster Than Silicon: Redesigned Material Could Lead to Lighter, Fas...

Chemists at The Ohio State University have developed the technology for making a one-atom-thick sheet of germanium, and found that it conducts electrons more than ten times faster than silicon and five times faster than conventional germanium.

The material's structure is closely related to that of graphene -- a much-touted two-dimensional material composed of single layers of carbon atoms.

In nature ... the single-atom layer is normally unstable. To get around this problem, Goldberger's team created multi-layered germanium crystals with calcium atoms wedged between the layers. Then they dissolved away the calcium with water, and plugged the empty chemical bonds that were left behind with hydrogen. The result: they were able to peel off individual layers of germanane.

Studded with hydrogen atoms, germanane is even more chemically stable than traditional silicon. It won't oxidize in air and water, as silicon does. That makes germanane easy to work with using conventional chip manufacturing techniques.

The primary thing that makes germanane desirable for optoelectronics is that it has what scientists call a "direct band gap," meaning that light is easily absorbed or emitted. Materials such as conventional silicon and germanium have indirect band gaps, meaning that it is much more difficult for the material to absorb or emit light.

In this form, the crystalline material is called germanane.

Appreciate knowing this.  I've remembered germanium fondly ever since I first started experimenting with electronics at the age of 15, because at that time, rectifiers were made of germanium.

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