Where electronics are concerned, the future is two-dimensional and very, very thin. One molecule thin, to be exact. That’s not quite as thin as a sheet of graphene, but new research from MIT shows that while one-atom-thick graphene shows exceptional strength and other novel properties, the future of electronics lies with materials like molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) that are a couple of atoms thicker but much, much easier to work with.
Once punctured by wayward metal atoms, the wonder material graphene can stitch itself back together, healing over with a new patch of two-dimensional carbon atoms. This new finding sheds more light on the strange properties of graphene, and it could even lead to new graphene creation strategies.
Add another item to the list of things one can accomplish using graphene, the wonder material of the future: Clean drinking water. Graphene could cheaply and easily remove salt from seawater, potentially turning the oceans into a vast drinking supply for thirsty populations. With properly sized holes, graphene sheets may be able to serve as all-purpose filters.
Silicene could be the material of the future. Or at least the material of the near future, until graphene-based semiconductors become more efficient.
A team of European researchers claims to be the first to synthesize silicene, a new allotrope of element No. 14 that forms two-dimensional single-atom sheets rather than three-dimensional crystals.