Never heard of molybdenite? We're not shocked. Its not nearly as hyped as graphene
or quantum dots
, but it could be the key to smaller, bendable microchips. The problem with silicon is that, in layers less than two nanometers thick, it can become unstable, oxidize and quickly deteriorate. Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), on the other hand, can be laid down in sheets just three atoms thick. The semiconductor also earns bonus points for being an abundant, naturally occurring mineral. Earlier this year researchers at the Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) demoed the first molybdenite transistor, but the team is moving fast and has already whipped up the first prototype of a complete integrated circuit (we assume with the aid of an all girl army of Kung Fu engineers). Things are looking good for this potential silicon usurper. And best of all, molybdenite is flexible. So, hello bendable computers!