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Future transistors may replace silicon with molybdenite

Feb 01, 2011, 20:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Humphries)

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"Researchers in the field of microprocessors are always looking to the future to see what new materials are available as our chips get ever smaller, faster, and closer to the limits of current component manufacturing. While graphene is seen as a material of the future, it has recently been revealed that it may not be a suitable replacement for silicon in CPUs. This is due to graphene having a very small energy state gap, meaning when it is used as a transistor it cannot be turned off.

"There could be ways around such a limitation that haven't been formulated yet, but we may not need graphene for processor manufacture after all. EPFL's Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) has discovered that molybdenite (MoS2) may be the perfect replacement for silicon.

"Your first question, as was mine, is probably what on earth is molybdenite? Well, it's actually an abundant material that has so far been overlooked for use in electronics. It is commonly used as an additive in lubricants and as an element of steel alloy, but now it has been found to be suitable for use as a semiconductors."

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