Researchers Produce First Transistors Made of Silicene

Scientists have created the first transistors made of silicine, a material touted as the "thinnest silicon" in the world. The transistor has just been tested in a vacuum chamber. (PHOTO CREDIT: University of Texas at Austin)
Scientists have created the first transistors made of silicine, a material touted as the “thinnest silicon” in the world. The transistor has just been tested in a vacuum chamber. (PHOTO CREDIT: University of Texas at Austin)

Researchers have produced the first transistors made of silicene, a material that is just one atom thick and known to be the “thinnest silicon” in the world.

The latest development offers great promise in enhancing the speeds of computers and electronics.

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, who created the transistors made of silicene, believe the new material has exceptional electrical properties. Until now, it has been very difficult to work with and produce silicine.

Deji Akinwande, assistant professor in the Cockrell School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, along with his team, claims to have solved a key challenge that surrounds silicine. The researchers showed that the material can be created into transistors. A transistor is a semi-conductor device, which is used to switch and amplify electrical power and electronic signals.

Akinwande posits that the new material can revolutionize the semiconductor industry and help in the development of superfast and energy-efficient chips.

Several years back silicene made by humans was just a theoretical material. Researchers looked at carbon-based graphene, which is also an atom-thick material with potential for chip development, and wondered if silicon atoms could also be structured in a similar way.

“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,” said Akinwande.

Akinwande also believes that it is the first time a silicene device has been made and fabricated in low temperature.

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SOURCE: Tech Times, Sumit Passary

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