Silicon Out, Graphene In?

Physicists at the University of Maryland have demonstrated that graphene, a single-atom-thick sheet of graphite, has a greater ability to conduct electricity than any other known material at room temperature. In fact, electrons can travel up to 100 times faster in graphine than silicon, making it a likely candidate to replace it as a semiconductor material in devices like computer chips and sensors.

Graphene also has a resistivity (opposition to the flow of electric current) of 1.0 microOhm-cm—which is 35% less than copper. That figure would also make graphene the lowest resistivity material at room temperature. However, impurities in graphine make it less effective than copper at transferring electrons (at least for the moment). Still, with some refinement, the future looks promising for graphene as our next "miracle material." [University of Maryland via Slashdot]