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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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.
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