One-atom-thick sheets could change computing

February 4, 2011 // 12:28 p.m.

Tags: #breakthrough #graphene #oxford-university #research #researchers #scientists #single-atom

Scientists claim that a new method for creating materials in sheets that are just one-atom-thick could lead to breakthroughs in data and energy storage technologies, meaning bigger storage devices and longer-lasting batteries.

According to coverage of the discovery over on Reuters, quoting a report published in journal Science, the technique makes it significantly easier to create one-atom-thick sheets of different materials, including graphene sheets made from carbon.

Work has been done in the past on creating graphene, but the material - which is just one-atom-thick and around a hundred times stronger than steel - remains expensive and difficult to produce; something the researchers believe they may have solved.

The new method is claimed to be low-cost, while also resulting in extremely high yields of usable materials, but isn't just limited to producing sheets from carbon. Instead, the researchers claim they can use the technology to create single-atom sheets from a variety of elements, drastically changing their electrical and thermoelectric properties and potentially unlocking useful new materials.

While graphene in its current state may not completely replace silicon the semiconductor industry, according to IBM, this latest work could help find the materials and technologies that mean faster, longer-lasting electronic circuits in the future.

Are you pleased to see researchers coming up with potential new materials in this way, or will you only get excited when the technology gets commercialised? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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