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Electronics A diverse printed future

For applications in electronics, silicon is often referred to as 'God's material'. Characteristics such as high natural abundance, and relative ease in crystal growth, purification and doping, combine with favourable electronic-transport properties to provide unmatched capabilities for commercial integrated circuits. As a result, silicon has held a dominant position in microelectronics since the early days of the industry, with compound semiconductors, used mainly in radio-frequency devices, consistently a distant second. Sometime in the latter part of this decade, however, fundamental limitations on the switching speed and energy efficiency of silicon transistors may force a shift to a certain level of diversity in semiconductor materials . One future approach might involve integrating non-silicon semiconductors onto silicon platforms, to yield heterogeneous systems that exploit different types of materials for different functions. On page 286 of this issue, Ko et al . report an intriguing route to this goal, which is based on organized arrays of ribbons of indium arsenide (InAs) delivered to silicon wafers in a type of printing process . Transistors built with such ribbons at nanoscale thicknesses exhibit impressive characteristics, suggesting their potential for enhancing the performance of next-generation silicon electronics. Compound semiconductors such as InAs are attractive http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Nature Publishing Group (NPG)

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