"Graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of graphite where carbon atoms are held in a hexagonal lattice reminiscent of chicken wire, has some unusual properties, one of which may allow it to replace silicon in high-speed electronics. At room temperature, graphene exhibits extremely high electron mobility—the speed at which electrons move through the material is over 100 times greater than silicon. However, because its material properties are different from traditional semiconductors, researchers have struggled to develop integrated circuits with graphene components.
Engineers at the University of California at Berkeley said that they have found a way to grow nanolasers on a silicon surface.
The invention could lead to, if we believe the scientists, to a new class of much more efficient microprocessors.
"Molybdenite looks similar to mica and is often found with quartz deposits. Its current uses include steel alloy blends and industrial lubricants. What the EPFL team discovered was that molybdenite is also an excellent semiconductor with a 1.8 electron-volt gap. The highly 2D naturally occurring structure of the material makes it more efficient electrically than silicon, this could result in a reduction in standby mode losses by as much as a 10^5."
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