Future of Electronics: Single-Layer Molybdenite Transistors Trump both Silicon and Graphene
Just published over the weekend in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a group from EPFL’s Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES)
are claiming that experiments and research carried out on the electrical properties of Molybdenite, a common and widely available material, have shown
a remarkable improvement in the materials electrical characteristics when compared against both Silicon and Graphene.
As we know, Silicon is expensive and time consuming to engineer into electronics and chips, and while Graphene was looking like it may become
Silicon's successor in electronics and transistor manufacture, it turns out to have a few limitations, which would make manufacturing devices
Molybdenite on the other hand, has been found to be not only perfect for taking over where Silicon will be phased out, but a sheet of Molybdenite just
0.65nm thick, can perform the same functions as a sheet of Silicon four times as thick, and do it in an area just 1/3 the size of conventional Silicon
It turns out to have ideal properties for electronics, chips, transistors and a slew of other applications is probably just waiting in the wings for
this material, Solar energy generation/harvesting is probably just one of these areas yet to be explored by researchers.
The *real* plus point for Molybdenite electronics is from it's energy requirements.
A transistor (or CPU eventually) made from Molybdenite is estimated to consume just 1/100,000th the energy requirements as a similar transistor made
from Silicon would use.
That's one, one hundred-thousandth of the energy of Silicon!
If this turns out to be in the ball park, i would reckon that devices, especially hand held units like phones and data tablets etc, would be able to
be powered simply from the heat from your hands holding it...or by a tiny Solar strip on the side of the unit...1/100,000th remember!
The story itself does go on to state that it won't mean our electronic devices will consume 100,000X less energy than our Silicon devices currently
consume (due to mechanical components, screens, drives etc still using substantial energy), but the individual electronic components themselves rather
than the whole device would.
It's very early days still, but there are applications where this would be very useful now.
Space craft and probes should be able to made orders of magnitude smaller, and therefore last orders of magnitude longer...couple this with an
electric Ion drive and we have a very long lasting power source for our probes.
If this stuff generates electricity at a similar ratio, and is fashioned into a Solar panel, think of what that would mean!
A solar panel just a few inches square, would in theory be able to power a home...Just shining a battery powered torch at the thing should generate
enough energy during the night too.
What with cold fusion back on the menu and now this Molybdenite discovery, the future is so bright...we all may have to wear shades!
Here's a link to the story and a snippet or two of the story itself..enjoy.
For one, molybdenite is a two-dimensional material, meaning it is less voluminous than three-dimensional silicon. Electrons can move around as
freely in a 0.65-nanometer-thick sheet of molybdenite as they can in a 2-nanometer-thick layer of silicon, ostensibly requiring roughly one third the
space to accomplish similar ends. It also possesses an ideal “gap” for turning transistors on and off, meaning a transistor with molybdenite’s
1.8 electron-volt gap could consume 100,000 times less energy than its silicon counterpart.
Further, molybdenite contains the necessary band gap needed to control semiconductors’ material properties. Electron-free spaces between these
“band gaps” that allow certain electrons to leap across lend a greater level of control over a material’s electrical properties. Molybdenite has
this gap. Graphene does not, making it less-than-ideal for transistor applications