Forget silicon- a team of researchers at the University of Texas have now discovered a new material called silicone, that could actually be used to create superfast computer chips.
Silicene, which was recently developed by a computer engineer Deji Akinwande and his team, could actually be taken up as a production material by the semiconductor industry and can be used to create amazingly faster, smaller and much more efficient forms of computer chips.
The silicene developed by the researchers is nearly as thin as an atom, but is packed with extraordinary electrical properties that sets it apart from other discoveries. The structure of silicene is such that it allows electrons to get through the circuit without encountering more objects between their path, thus making their journey easier, which ultimately makes it a faster chip.
However, that’s not all, the biggest achievement, Akinwande says, “is the efficient low-temperature manufacturing and fabrication of silicene devices for the first time.”
The only downside to this chip is the fact that this material is unstable when it comes in contact with air. However, the researchers have a workaround for this- they have developed a method for fabricating silicene with a thin layer of silver and a layer of alumina- these layers would serve as a form of protection.
This new technology may need some while to be commercially available and for it to work for different practises, but the scenario seems promising. Akinwande will now be looking for new methods to develop this material.