Phosphorene: the advanced material
It’s been 10 years since the wonder material graphene was first discovered. A scientific game changer, the ultra-thin, super-strong and mega-conducting carbon allotrope was, and still is, a new material for the future. A decade on and a new material, phosphorene, is here. Like graphene, it is atomically thin but if anything, its conducting properties are even better, thanks to it being a natural semi-conductor. Phosphorene is an allotrope and its layers form the element phosphorus. Testing by the University of Manchester has proved that atomically thin materials like phosphorene are able to be true superconductors when enough electrons are passed through them. Superconductors have the ability to conduct electricity with no resistance making them incredibly energy efficient. In the future, this will be especially useful to power smaller electrical devices such as mobile phones and tablets while also making transistors even more powerful in the next generation of computing and in improving electricity production in general. Phosphorene is the first atomically thin superconductor and further tests will help prove the limits of superconductivity and how it can be applied to electrics as well as quantum technologies. A potentially very exciting future lies ahead.
For more amazing science and technology news, check out issue 98 of How It Works. Pick up your copy from from all good retailers or from our website now. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, subscribe today!