By Cameron Chai
According to Antoine Fleurence, a scientist at the Japan Advanced Industrial of Science and Technology in Ishikawa, the semiconductor sector has the necessary infrastructure to use silicon to develop the chips that operate electronics.
The Japanese researchers, at a recent conference held in Dallas, of the American Physical Society described the development of silicene. The team fabricated a thin layer of silicon on the ceramic substance zirconium diboride. X-rays beamed on the thin silicon sheet exposed a hexagonal structure similar to graphene.
This structure resembled the silicene ribbons developed by scientist Guy Le Lay at the University of Provence in Marseille, France. Le Lay’s group also shared the new information at the conference, which showed that silicene and graphene not only look alike, but could share similar electronic characteristics. Spectroscopic methods revealed that silicene has a Dirac cone, which allows for graphene to be used in electronics. Le Lay will grow silicene on an insulating fabric that will allow the team to conduct direct tests of its electronic traits.
In order to make silicene a more viable option than graphene, the development needs to be simple, according to Sankar Das Sarma, a scientist at the University of Maryland in College Park.