The devices are made from an experimental material known as a transition metal dichalcogenide — also called a TMD. TMDs are exciting because they’re so thin, usually appearing as films of just a few atoms, with properties that make them useful for building solar cells, light detectors, or semi-conductors.
Today’s result unearths the best process yet for manufacturing the materials, giving new hope that the material might someday give rise to atomically thin circuits and sensors. If the finding does hold up, it could result in a real breakthrough for future generations of electronics. Modern chip manufacturers are already reaching the upper density limit for silicon chips, leading some to predict the end of Moore’s Law
The next step is making sure it can be produced consistently. The researchers will also need to be able to produce the TMDs at a lower temperature if they’re going to be used in conventional electronics, as many auxiliary materials will combust at 550 Celsius.