Scientists develop material with silicon-like characteristics

A metal-organic framework could serve as a replacement for the semiconductor silicon in the future

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz (Germany), together with scientists from Dresden, Leipzig, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Madrid (Spain), have developed a new metal-organic material witch displays electrical properties mimicking those of highly crystalline silicon. According to the researchers, the »metal-organic framework« (MOF) is a highly crystalline solid made of iron ions linked by organic molecules, hence the name metal-organic framework. In contrast to silicon, the material can be made at room temperature, and the sample chemistry, morphology and electronic properties are easily customizable during the manufacturing process.
In the production of electronic components such as solar cells, LEDs or computer chips, high-purity and thus expensive silicon has so far been used primarily due to the fact that the electrical properties of a semiconductor (as silicon) are strongly affected by disorder.

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