Sebastian Anthony writes:
Numerous research groups around the world are reporting that they have created silicene, a one-atom-thick hexagonal mesh of silicon atoms — the silicon equivalent of graphene.
Since its discovery a few years ago, you will have heard a lot about graphene, especially with regard to its truly wondrous electrical properties. Graphene is the most conductive material in the known universe, and IBM has shown that graphene transistors could be become the basis of transistors (and computers) that operate in the hundreds-of-gigahertz or terahertz (THz) range. There’s only one problem: Graphene isn’t really a semiconductor in the silicon/computer chip sense of the word. Unlike silicon (or germanium), graphene doesn’t have a bandgap, which makes it very hard to actually build a switching device — such as a transistor — out of it. Researchers have had some luck in introducing a bandgap, but graphene is still a long way away from being used in current silicon processes.
Single-layer silicon that could beat graphene to market - [Link]
Kristin Lewotsky writes:
LEDs have a well-deserved reputation for high-efficiency operation, not to mention high reliability. Properly specified and implemented, LEDs should and do satisfy virtually every lighting application. Still, there are times when actual device lifetimes fall short of the specified ideal. LEDs are wide-bandgap semiconductor devices. As a result, they have far more complex and varied failure modes than the incumbent technologies. Unlike an incandescent lamp, where failure is fairly simple (the bulb produces light until the filament breaks), with an LED, the failure modes range from mechanical and electrical to material.
Understanding and Preventing LED Failure - [Link]