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First Transistors Made Entirely of 2-D Materials

Two independent research groups report the first transistors built entirely of two-dimensional electronic materials (http://cenm.ag/mat80), making the devices some of the thinnest yet.

The transistors, just a few atoms thick and hence transparent, are smaller than their silicon-based counterparts, which would allow for a super-high density of pixels in flexible, next-generation displays. The research teams, one at Argonne National Laboratory and the other at the University of California, Berkeley, used materials such as tungsten diselenide, graphene, and boron nitride to make all three components of a transistor: a semiconductor, a set of electrodes, and an insulating layer.

Electrons travel in the devices 70 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn501723y) to 100 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl5009037) times faster than in amorphous silicon. Such a high electron mobility means the transistors switch faster, which dictates a display's refresh rate and is necessary for high-quality video, especially 3-D video.

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