The first silicene transistor lives up to expectations

Silicene is a unique 2d form of silicon that may hold potential for various computing applications. Its hard-to-handle nature, though, renders it so far unused, despite its potent electrical properties. A scientist from the University of Texas has recently been able to succeed in making the first silicene transistor, which lives up to the promise with its extraordinary switching speed.

The scientist grew silicene on a wafer, then stored it in a vacuum to prevent degrading from taking place. It remains unknown if silicene will indeed become a major building block in the future, but this success in making a transistor out of it confirms its impressive potential, with electrons that move it with almost no resistance.Silicene is also appealing as its made from silicon, which is already in extensive use and stems from a highly developed industry.

Silicene, a 2D single-atom sheet of Silicon could rival graphene

Researchers from Europe say they have managed to synthesize silicene - a new Silicon allotrope that forms 2D single-atom sheets. Silicene could rival graphene and can be used to create transistors easily compared to graphene (which has no band gap). The researchers grew the silicene on silver substrates. Some researchers already claimed to have made silicene, but now it is the first time that there is microscopic proof.

In a silicene sheet some atoms are arranged above and below the main "panel" (this is called a buckled honeycomb structure). This creates the band gap and so silicene can be used as an on/off transistor.

Silicene - a new atom-thin honeycomb material made from Silicon atoms

Phyisicists created atom-thin sheets of silicon - and named the new material Silicene. The idea to create such sheets from Silicon emerged in 2007 - even though silicon doesn't naturally form the required atomic bonds. Silicene has a similar pattern to Graphene and possibly has the same electronic properties and might have advantages of Graphene because silicon is more integrateable into today's electronic devices.

The Silicene was created by growing a thin layer of silicon on top of a ceramic material called zirconium diboride. X-rays shined on this thin layer of silicon revealed a honeycomb of hexagons similar to the structure of graphene.