Popular science magazine Nature, which we get for the Spot the Ball competition, said that graphene is the latest pretender to replace silicon.
Graphene is a two-dimensional form of carbon and was discovered three years ago. It is an atom thick and highly conductive with minimal resistance.
It has been used to make a tiny transistor that works at room temperature which means it can provide faster, smaller electronics devices once silicon reaches its limits.
Boffins at the University of Manchester, UK, and colleagues made a device etched out of a sheet of graphene that acts as a single electron transistor.
According to Nature, the transistor is less than 10 nanometres wide which can be turned on or off simply by shunting a single electron into and out of this restriction.
It requires a tiny amount of 'gate voltage' and a small change in voltage can cause a large change in current, making the devices very sensitive.
While the boffins have made such devices from silicon to amuse their friends at the office Christmas party, they discovered that they would not work at room temperature, which rules them out for the desktop. Graphene, on the other hand, is best served at room temperature.
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