PORTLAND, Ore.– A team of researchers led by StanfordUniversity professor Shoucheng Zhang nowhave high hopes that a new material theycall stanene will conduct electricity onnext-generation microchips with “100 percentefficiency” at room temperature and above.
The team, including researchers at StanfordUniversity and the US Department of Energy’s(DoE's) SLAC National AcceleratorLaboratory, both in Menlo Park, Calif.,named their new tin-based material staneneto liken it to graphene (plus the prefix ofthe Latin term for tin, stannum). However,instead of being based on atomically thintwo-dimensional (2D) monolayers of carbon asis graphene, stanene is based on monolayersof tin. And while they are careful not tocall it a room-temperature superconductor,it nevertheless has striking similarities.
“This is not a superconductor, with thefollowing distinction — it only conducts with100 percent efficiency on the edges — theinterior of this two-dimensional material isan insulator,” Zhang told us.
In practice, stanene interconnection lineswill behave like dual side-by-sidesuperconducting wires, since each ribbon ofstanene will support two lanes of zeroresistance data traffic — one on each edge.The only resistance offered by a staneneinterconnection line would be at the endpoints where a contact must be made with thetraditional on-chip circuitry.
“The key difference is that with a normalconductor, the total resistance scaleslinearly with the length — the longer thewire the larger the resistance,” said Zhang.”But for stanene the only resistance is thecontact, so the total resistance of a lineis constant regardless of the wire'slength.”
To read more, go to “Experimental confirmation.”