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Researchers Claim Success in Silicene Synthesis

Several research groups are claiming to be the first to create analogous thin sheets of silicon known as silicene, an analog material that could be used in transistors. Silicene is a two-dimensional material able to function at the single atom level. Wright State University professor Lok C. Lew Yan Voon has said that silicone-based devices could reliably exhibit the critical on-off function required for transistors. Research groups, including teams from China and Japan, claim they were the first to synthesize silicene. An international group of researchers—including experts from the Technical University of Berlin, the National Scientific Research Center’s Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center in France, and the National Research Council’s Institute of the Structure of Matter in Italy, and France’s SOLEIL Synchrotron facility —say they also created silicene in a honeycomb-like arrangement of silicon atoms on a silver substrate. The European researchers say the next step is to grow silicene on nonmetallic substrates, which would enable the material to be used in semiconductors or insulators. They also plan to investigate materials potentially similar to silicene, including germanene, a germanium analog. (PhysOrg.com)(Inside Science News Service)(Nanowerk)(Physical Review Letters)

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