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Phosphorene introduced as graphene alternative

Sheets of ultrathin phosphorus could lead to faster semiconductor electronics

12:38pm, March 10, 2014

CLOSER LOOK AT PHOSPHORENE  Sheets of phosphorous just one atom thick have a ridged structure, as shown in this illustration. Graphene sheets, which are made of carbon, are flat.

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

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