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Could silicene be the future of electronics?Germany | Posted on August 2nd, 2012
The silicene structure consists of one atomic layer of silicon atoms and in this way it is analogous to graphene, the atomically thin sheet of carbon atoms which has been the subject of high research interest in recent years. For all of graphene's promise, one of its limitations is the lack of a naturally occurring band gap in its electronic states. This band gap is of fundamental importance for creating the electronic switches and logic circuits which make up digital electronic devices. There has been some recent progress in inducing a band gap into graphene, but it involves complicated methods such as bringing the graphene sheets into contact with a strongly-interacting substrate, which can sufficiently perturb the electronic properties. Alternatively, silicene exhibits a band gap even without modification and, it has the advantage of inherent compatibility with the silicon technology infrastructure already used in manufacturing much of today's digital electronics.
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