Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering have created the first transistors made of silicene, the world’s thinnest silicon material.
Their research holds the promise of building dramatically faster, smaller and more efficient computer chips.
Made of a one-atom-thick layer of silicon atoms, silicene has outstanding electrical properties but has until now proved difficult to produce and work with.
Deji Akinwande, an assistant professor in the Cockrell School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his team, including lead researcher Li Tao, solved one of the major challenges surrounding silicene by demonstrating that it can be made into transistors —semiconductor devices used to amplify and switch electronic signals and electrical power.
The first-of-their-kind devices developed by Akinwande and his teamrely on the thinnest of any semiconductor material, a long-standing dream of the chip industry, and could pave the way for future generations of faster, energy-efficient computer chips. Their work was published this week in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Until a few years ago, human-made silicene was a purely theoretical material. Looking at carbon-based graphene, another atom-thick material with promise for chip development, researchers speculated that silicon atoms could be structured in a broadly similar way.
Akinwande, who also works on graphene transistors, sees value in silicene’s relationship to silicon, which chipmakers already know how to work with.
“Apart from introducing a new player in the playground of 2-D materials, silicene, with its close chemical affinity to silicon, suggests an opportunity in the road map of the semiconductor industry,” Akinwande said. “The major breakthrough here is the efficient low-temperature manufacturing and fabrication of silicene devices for the first time.”
Despite its promise for commercial adaptation, silicene has proved extremely difficult to create and work with because of its complexity and instability when exposed to air.
The Latest on: Silicene
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The Latest on: Silicene
- Rich Magnetic Quantization Phenomena in AA Bilayer Siliceneon October 15, 2019 at 2:13 am
The rich magneto-electronic properties of AA-bottom-top (bt) bilayer silicene are investigated using a generalized tight-binding model. The electronic structure exhibits two pairs of oscillatory ...
- Transistors made of the world’s thinnest siliconon February 3, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Silicene is made of a one-atom-thick layer of silicon, and now scientists have used it to create transistors. The material has outstanding electrical properties but has—until now—proved difficult to ...
- Tri-layer silicene may beat bulk GaAs as high-efficiency photovoltaic absorberon October 15, 2018 at 2:41 am
In the past few years, monolayer and multilayer silicenes have been successfully grown on various metal substrates. Unfortunately, silicene on metal substrate generally exhibits metallic or ...
- Why Silicene is a Competitive 2D Materialon May 14, 2018 at 12:30 am
From the year 2012 on, silicene monolayers have been synthesized on substrate surfaces of different kinds, such as silver, iridium, molybdenum disulfide and others. The problem with silicene is that ...
- Graphene’s Siblings: Silicene, Germanene and Staneneon May 13, 2018 at 5:00 pm
silicene was first postulated in 1994 by Japanese chemists but was only recently synthesized by means of molecular beam epitaxy (just like germanene and stanene). In this process silicone molecules ...
- The flat and the curiouson November 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm
At the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, researchers have simulated the growth of silicene, a 2-D material with attractive electronic properties. Their work, published in ...
- First Silicene Transistoron November 30, 2015 at 1:12 pm
Easy to use and abundant, silicon has been the go-to transistor material for decades, but in February, the world saw the first silicene transistor. Silicene is a two-dimensional version of silicon ...
- Silicene could help create an alternative to graphene, with many of its benefitson February 4, 2015 at 8:20 am
Enter silicene — one of the graphene-like materials that’s bidding for attention. Researchers at the University of Texas’ Cockrell school of engineering have built the first transistors made of ...
- Research team succeeds in building transistors using siliceneon February 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm
(Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from Italy and the U.S. has succeeded in building ... several such transistors and that they were stable when used in a vacuum. They also report, that ...
- Wonder material silicene has suicidal tendencieson January 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm
their research shows that silicene has suicidal tendencies. The research has been published by the renowned academic journal Applied Physics Letters. The material silicene was first created in 2010.
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