A graphene-like material with unique electronic and optical properties, making it promising for applications such as field-effect transistors, sensors, and energy storage devices.
Technology Life Cycle

Technology Life Cycle


Initial phase where new technologies are conceptualized and developed. During this stage, technical viability is explored and initial prototypes may be created.

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Lab Environment

Experimental analyses are no longer required as multiple component pieces are tested and validated altogether in a lab environment.

Technology Diffusion

Technology Diffusion


First to adopt new technologies. They are willing to take risks and are crucial to the initial testing and development of new applications.


Carbon and silicon are very similar elements. They lie next to each other on the periodic table — the former is the fundamental structure of organic matter, and the latter is the basis of electronics. Silicene, silicon's two-dimensional allotrope, consists of a hexagonal honeycomb structure, similar to graphene, and can be used for a variety of applications. It is considered a promising material for future electronics because it has unique electronic and optical properties that make it suitable for applications such as field-effect transistors, sensors, and energy storage devices.

One of the main advantages of silicene is its compatibility with silicon-based electronics, which are currently the industry standard. Meaning this material could potentially replace silicon in certain applications, such as transistors, semiconductors, and energy storage devices, because it has higher electron mobility, elevated surface area, and electrical conductivity. Additionally, silicene has potential applications in sensing and detection, as it is highly sensitive to changes in its environment. It also has unique optical properties that make it useful for developing optoelectronic devices.

However, one of the main challenges facing silicene research is its instability, as it tends to react with oxygen and other chemicals in the environment, which can degrade its properties in a matter of seconds. Researchers are working on finding ways to stabilize silicene and improve its properties, such as by using protective layers or modifying its structure.

Future Perspectives

Many silicene applications have yet to be discovered. Its ability to perform logical operations – a significant advantage over graphene – makes it much more suitable for electronics. It could indeed provide a reliable way to integrate semiconductors and transistors in considerably smaller (and faster) components than what we have today. It could be integrated with wearable technologies – applied to the human body –or in sensors, providing ubiquitous nano-sized intelligence.

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Creation of electronic device using atom-thin silicon sheets could boost work on other flat materials.
Researchers report that they’ve fabricated transistors made of a single layer of silicon atoms connected to three electrodes. These are the first functional devices to use two-dimensional silicon.
During the last decade, there has been considerable interest of researchers towards the use of two-dimensional (2D) materials for the electronic device implementations. The main driving force is the improved performance offered by these 2D materials for electronic device operation in nano-scale regime. Among these 2D material, silicene (the 2D of silicon) has emerged as preferred choice because of its expected integration with silicon based technology. This expected integration of silicene with silicon technology is one of the primary advantages of silicene as a material for future electronic devices with the availability of infrastructure of bulk silicon for its processing. Silicene in its basic form is a conductor due to the zero bandgap formation and therefore several techniques have been given in the open literature for forming the band gap in silicene. Besides, silicene has been used to design several electronic devices ranging from transistors to photodetectors. In this paper, a review of silicene is presented considering a) the features/properties offered by it, b) the methods employed for the generation of its bandgap, c) different types of field effect transistors (FETs) reported on silicene, and d) spintronic applications of silicene.
Silicene is emerging as a two-dimensional material with very attractive electronic properties for a wide range of applications; it is a particularly promising material for nano-electronics in silicon-based technology. Over the last decade, the existence and stability of silicene has been the subject of much debate. Theoretical studies were the first to predict a puckered honeycomb structure with electronic properties resembling those of graphene. Though these studies were for free-standing silicene, experimental fabrication of silicene has been achieved so far only through epitaxial growth on crystalline surfaces. Indeed, it was only in 2010 that researchers presented the first experimental evidence of the formation of silicene on Ag(1 1 0) and Ag(1 1 1), which has launched silicene in a similar way to graphene. This very active field has naturally led to the recent growth of silicene on Ir(1 1 1), ZrB2(0 0 0 1) and Au(1 1 0) substrates. However, the electronic properties of epitaxially grown silicene on metal surfaces are influenced by the strong silicene–metal interactions. This has prompted experimental studies of the growth of multi-layer silicene, though the nature of its “silicene” structure remains questionable. Of course, like graphene, synthesizing free-standing silicene represents the ultimate challenge. A first step towards this has been reported recently through chemical exfoliation from calcium disilicide (CaSi2). In this review, we discuss the experimental and theoretical studies of silicene performed to date. Special attention is given to different experimental studies of the electronic properties of silicene on metal substrates. New avenues for the growth of silicene on other substrates with different chemical characteristics are presented along with foreseeable applications such as nano-devices and novel batteries.
N2 - The discovery of graphene inspired the exploration of other 2D-materials. Silicon and germanium are elements with similar features as carbon. This lead to the fabrication of graphene's cousins, silicene and germanene, with similar properties as graphene. Notable differences are found in the structural and electronic properties of silicene and germanene versus graphene. Following the same reasoning, hexagonal boron-nitride was proposed as a graphene-like material. Unlike other 2D-materials, hexagonal boron-nitride is an insulator that may act as a buffer layer of 2D-materials. Therefore, the properties and synthesis of these materials are addressed in this thesis.
"Free-standing silicene, a silicon analogue of graphene, has a buckled honeycomb lattice and, because of its Dirac bandstructure combined with its sensitive surface, offers the potential for a widely tunable two-dimensional monolayer, where external fields and interface interactions can be exploited to influence fundamental properties such as bandgap and band character for future nanoelectronic devices."
Although graphene is by far the most famous example of two-dimensional (2D) materials, which exhibits a wealth of exotic and intriguing properties, it suffers from a severe drawback. In this regard, the exploration of silicene, the silicon analog of the graphene material, has attracted substantial interest in the past decade. This review therefore provides a comprehensive survey of recent theoretical and experimental works on this 2D material. We first overview the distinctive structures and properties of silicene, including mechanical, electronic, and spintronic properties. We then discuss the growth and experimental characterization of silicene on Ag(111) and other different substrates, providing insights into the different phases or atomic arrangements of silicene observed on the metallic surfaces as well as on its electronic structures. Then, the recent state-of-the-art applications of silicene are summarized in section 4 with the aim to break the scientific and engineering barriers for application in nanoelectronics, sensors, energy storage devices, electrode materials, and quantum technology. Finally, the concluding remarks and the future prospects of silicene are also provided.
Silicene‐based van der Waals heterostructures are theoretically predicted to have interesting physical properties, but their experimental fabrication has remained a challenge because of the easy oxidation of silicene in air. Here, the fabrication of graphene/silicene van der Waals heterostructures by silicon intercalation is reported. Density functional theory calculations show weak interactions between graphene and silicene layers, confirming the formation of van der Waals heterostructures. The heterostructures show no observable damage after air exposure for extended periods, indicating good air stability. The I–V characteristics of the vertical graphene/silicene/Ru heterostructures show rectification behavior.
The discovery of graphene and its tremendous impact on scientific research has initiated the search for other elemental two-dimensional (2D) honeycomb materials with potentially similar exotic properties, as predicted by theoretical investigations. These properties may allow the application of these layered structures in novel electronic devices, including ultrafast electronics, spintronics, sensors, and novel device concepts exploiting their topological properties. In recent years this search has lead to the discovery of other members of this family of 2D materials based on other group IV elements.

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