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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: Two-Dimensional Glass
2 February 2012 11:39 am
Researchers have created the world's thinnest pane of glass—and it looks oddly familiar. The glass, made of silicon and oxygen, formed accidentally when the scientists were making graphene, an atom-thick sheet of carbon, on copper-covered quartz. They believe an air leak caused the copper to react with the quartz, which is also made of silicon and oxygen, producing a glass layer with the graphene. The glass is a mere three atoms thick—the minimum thickness of silica glass—which makes it two-dimensional. Although this is the first time such a thin sheet of freestanding glass has been produced, the image above, taken with an electron microscope, isn't entirely new. Reporting in an upcoming issue of Nano Letters, the team notes that it "strikingly resembles" a diagram drawn by a glass theorist attempting to unravel its structure back in 1932 (inset). In the ghostly microscope image, two silicon atoms bound together with an oxygen atom appear as white dots, with oxygen atoms forming gray connecting lines. This network of random-sized rings is mirrored in the old black and white sketch. In addition to demonstrating how graphene makes it possible to produce previously unfeasible 2D-materials, ultra-thin glass could be used in semiconductor or graphene transistors.
See more ScienceShots.