Skip to comments.Sticky problem snares wonder material - Graphene-like form of silicon proves hard to handle.
Posted on 03/14/2013 10:51:28 PM PDT by neverdem
In 2011, physicist Guy Le Lay stood before a half-filled room on the last day of the American Physical Societys March meeting in Dallas, Texas, and presented data on a new form of silicon. In his laboratory at Aix-Marseille University in France, Le Lay had grown sheets of honeycombed silicon with layers just one atom thick. He had only preliminary evidence that was unpublished at the time. It was a risk, you know? he says now of his decision to present the data.
At this years meeting, on 1822 March in Baltimore, Maryland, scientists will deliver about two dozen talks on silicene (see Speaking of silicene), the material that Le Lay tentatively described two years ago.
The name recalls graphene, the current darling of the materials-science world and the flurry of interest suggests that silicene could be the next one. But for that to happen, Le Lay and others will have to overcome silicenes unfortunate tendency to stick to practically everything it touches.
Structurally, silicene looks a lot like graphene, which is also a honeycombed sheet, but of carbon atoms rather than silicon. Silicenes two-dimensional structure should lead to strange quantum effects and allow electrons to streak across it at incredible speed properties that, in graphene, have entranced physicists and builders of electronic devices since it was first characterized in 2004. In 2010, work on graphene won a Nobel prize, and earlier this year, graphene research was selected by the European Commission as one of its billion-euro flagship projects (see Nature 493, 585586; 2013).
Silicene could even have some extra attractions. It is predicted to have characteristics similar to topological insulators materials that conduct electrons only on their outer surfaces another trendy area of research.
Above all, silicene is made of silicon, the same material that...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
Neverdem, you have a most eclectic reading list. Wide ranging and thought provoking. I always read your posts, and while some(most)times I find myself out of my depth, I’m always fascinated. Thanks for this and your other posts.
Earlier in the article it was stated that silicene is a sheet of silicon "one atom thick", Does this mean that atoms have no thickness?
two dimensional structure:
as in length times width times one atom thick.
makes sense to me...
Because it is only one atom thick, for practical purposes, it essentially has no thickness. For physical purposes, it would act as if it were two dimensional. It would be the closest thing to a physical 2-dimensional object that you could have in our universe, unless you could find a way to have a bunch of free quarks assemble into a sheet.
Apparently 2-dimensional objects have some interesting properties, when made with elements of this class. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can actually do with it outside of a lab.
Geometry issue. There’s no third axis in which to form and arrangement. At least that’s the way I took it.
It’s like when we say cartoons or TV are two dimensional. They technically have thickness as everything in reality has thickness.
Wow, you're messing with my mind. Far out, man! Everything I see is photons reflecting off objects and hitting my retina - two-dimensional. Things technically have thickness but my eyeballs see two-dimensional. Your TV analogy is awesome. On the serious side, something approaching zero in thickness can generally be considered as having zero thickness.
Could make for an interesting quantum physics experiment.
Thanks for this thread.
Those who live in silicene houses...
There once was a mathematician named Klein
Who thought the mobius strip was divine.
He said "If you glue, the edges of two,
you'll get a weird bottle like mine."
Now if your limerick’s last line was and anagram of the first line, then it would be fine. ;)