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First Molybdenite Microchip

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Credit: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

Researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne's (EPFL's) Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) have developed a molybdenite microchip that confirms the potential of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) as an ideal material for use in transistors.

"We have built an initial prototype, putting from two to six serial transistors in place, and shown that basic binary logic operations were possible, which proves that we can make a larger chip," says LANES director Andras Kis.

Earlier this year LANES researchers discussed why MoS2, a relatively abundant, naturally occurring material, could compete with silicon and even rival graphene in certain areas. Miniaturization is the main advantage of MoS2, as molybdenite can be worked in layers only three atoms thick, which would enable chips to be built at least three times smaller.

Molybdenite can amplify electronic signals like silicon, offering an output signal that is four times stronger that the incoming signal. "They can be turned on and off much more quickly, and can be put into a more complete standby mode," Kis notes.

The mechanical properties of molybdenite also suggest its potential use as a material in flexible electronics.

From Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
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