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US researchers have made phosphorus into an analogue of graphene, dubbed phosphorene, allowing practical electronic devices made from such two-dimensional materials.1 Peide Ye at Purdue University, US, and his co-workers show that phosphorene is the first native 2D electron-poor – or p-type – semiconductor. That’s important for making these flat materials into standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) logic circuit elements, which Ye’s team has also achieved with phosphorene. ‘For device applications it’s fundamentally better than graphene,’ Ye says.

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