Sheets of ultrathin phosphorus could lead to faster semiconductor electronics
DENVER — Phosphorus has joined carbon as the only elements to be separated into sheets each a single atom thick, researchers announced March 7 at a meeting of the American Physical Society. The newly fabricated ultrathin material, dubbed phosphorene, could prove superior to its popular carbon counterpart for use in next-generation electronics.
Graphene, which consists of a flat honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms, has been the darling of materials scientists since 2004. That’s when Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov peeled off sheets of graphite with Scotch tape, a simple step that produced graphene and was rewarded with the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics (SN Online: 10/5/10). Among graphene’s remarkable properties is that it can shuttle electrons rapidly while hardly heating up, which led some