The future of computing will be determined by the new materials more than anything else. Novel materials are key to unlocking further progress in semiconductor miniaturization, performance, and energy efficiency. This is why XPANCEO as a company has staffed its R&D department with world-leading talent in 2D materials. Why do we find new materials so essential to the task of building the next generation of personal computing devices? The answer is more complex than you may expect.
Have you ever noticed how one of the most common ways to categorize the stages of human civilization is based on the prevailing material: stone age, bronze age, or iron age? And while you’re pondering that, ask yourself: what age are we in? As our technology becomes more complicated multiple legitimate answers to this question emerge: metals still play a huge role, but so do synthetic materials. And then there is silicon, of course. If you ask me to pick one material to name the current ‘age’, I would say ‘silicon’ but also immediately add that a new era is about to dawn.
There was a good reason Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov received the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics for their groundbreaking research on graphene. It was a glimpse into the future; the first of many materials that we’ve come to call ‘2D’ or ‘single-layer’ materials. They have one definitive property: their atomic lattices are exactly that — single layers. The atoms are still bound together in two dimensions, however, the forces that were previously ‘busy’ binding the crystal in the 3rd dimension are now free and give these materials a whole range of radically new properties that you don’t see in any of their ‘normal’ equivalents. And these properties are truly fascinating.
Let’s consider the product we are working on — a personal computer embedded in a contact lens — and see how 2D materials are critical to building it.
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