Michelle Pillers (University of Notre Dame)

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Location: Radiation Laboratory Auditorium

"The Discovery and Development of Silicene and Germanene:  Recent Exploration of Graphene Analogues"

Graphene, the flat, 2-dimensional sheet of carbon naturally present as layers in graphite, has garnered widespread interest in the scientific community due to its potentially novel electronic applications. This interest has also spurred exploration into the formation of other sheets of group 14 elements, specifically silicon and germanium. Silicene, the silicon analogue of graphene, was first predicted to be stable by theoretical studies in the early 1990s. Further studies also hinted at potential electronic similarities between silicene and graphene. The vast use of silicon in the electronics industry has spurred exploration into nanoelectronic applications of silicene. However, synthesis of silicene is difficult and early claims of successful synthesis were deemed largely unreliable due to insufficient characterization and analysis. This talk will describe recent claims of silicene synthesis and attempts to understand synthetic parameters, electrical properties, effect of the substrate, and potential ability to implement this novel material into electronic devices. Additionally, similarities and differences of silicene with graphene will be explored and combined experimental and computational studies to give greater insight into these structures will be emphasized. Finally, germanene will be briefly introduced, expanding the discussion of these novel materials and their potential applications.