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Graphene was developed by Kostya Novoselov and Andre Geim nearly 10 years ago by “ripping” scotch tape off a thick graphite layer. During that period, it was praised as a material with remarkable conductivity because of its atomic layer structure. Graphene can be employed in a wide range of applications that could compete with silicon.
If Graphene is a Rival to Silicon, is There a Rival to Graphene?
Graphene is not the only two-dimensional (2D) structure that exists. Silicon has an alternative with silicene, with studies indicating that it has capabilities similar to that of graphene, with the added benefit of the familiarity of utilizing silicon.
While studies are still ongoing with silicene, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) appears to be a possible rival to graphene. This 2D structure is a molecular amalgamation of sulfur and molybdenum and truly has capabilities that could be more suitable than silicon and graphene. MoS2 is composed of one atomic layer of molybdenum between two single layers of sulfur.
Considering MoS2 as a semi-conductor, a variation exists in that there is a direct band gap when compared to silicon and graphene. This direct band gap enables the MoS2 to emit and absorb light.
In addition, MoS2 is robust and has a low coefficient of friction, making it an interesting prospect for all kinds of transistors, optics, electronics, and flexible display applications.
So is MoS2 a Direct Rival to Graphene?
Instead of getting mixed up in the war between the 2D structures, scientists from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have come up with a new technique to integrate both MoS2 and graphene to produce a memory storage that is effective enough to rival flash.
With the promising capabilities of having greater power than (and being faster than) silicon, the EPPFL researchers substituted silicon with molybdenite. The molybdenite has graphene electrodes under the layer and also has graphene layers on top of the device. This would store memory by capturing the electrical charge.