Can a silicene transistor be realized?

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In the past decade a new exciting class of materials has been developed, which is not three-dimensional, but only two-dimensional in nature. Graphene is by far the most famous example of this new class of materials. Graphene exhibits a wealth of exotic and intriguing properties, which has resulted in a myriad of scientific breakthroughs. However, graphene also suffers from a severe drawback: it is gapless, implying that a graphene based field-effect transistor is not within reach. Silicene, the silicon analog of graphene, is in many aspects very similar to graphene, but in contrast to the planar graphene lattice, the silicene lattice is slightly buckled and composed of two vertically displaced sub-lattices. By breaking the sub-lattice symmetry a band gap can be opened, which would in principle allow the realization of a silicene field-effect transistor. This piece introduces the various band engineering options for silicene as well as additional hurdles that will need to be overcome before the door can be opened to a silicene transistor
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-694
JournalNano today
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2014


  • IR-95648
  • METIS-308116


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