In the battle to keep laws of physics at bay for another 18 months, keeping Moore’s Law ticking over research groups from around the world have been locked in a race to produce silicene. A race that appears to have ended in a four way draw, four teams from around the world have succeeded in growing silicene on a silver substrate.
Silicene is a single atom thick layer of silicon that scientists hope to use to make our gadgets of the future. A wonder material of the future it is one of the most conductive materials known to man. In the same class of nano-materials as graphene these highly conductive materials see atoms travel upon their surface like light-speed ice-skaters.
A French and German team have now published their results, with initial testing demonstrating they have produced a single atom layer of silicon on a silver substrate. The production process not only uses common ingredients such as silicon and silver but it also relies on standard production processes, showing promise for easy integration into current chip making equipment.