Researchers from Europe say they have managed to synthesize silicene - a new Silicon allotrope that forms 2D single-atom sheets. Silicene could rival graphene and can be used to create transistors easily compared to graphene (which has no band gap). The researchers grew the silicene on silver substrates. Some researchers already claimed to have made silicene, but now it is the first time that there is microscopic proof.

In a silicene sheet some atoms are arranged above and below the main "panel" (this is called a buckled honeycomb structure). This creates the band gap and so silicene can be used as an on/off transistor.