Minerals in the News: Molybdenite

The lovely flat metallic hexagonal crystal habit of molybdenite, in this attractive specimen from the Moly Hill Mine.

Molybdenite is a molybdenum sulfide mineral found around the world. One of the best locations in North America is the Moly Hill Mine in Canada, which is a source of beautiful It has now appeared in the news as a new breakthrough material with potential applications in semi-conductors and nanotechnology.

It appears that, due to its nearly two-dimensional crystal structure ( see above ), molybdenite may be even better in ultra-thin applications than silicon, which forms three-dimensional crystal lattices. Additionally, this new structure will use a hafnium oxide layer, which is simply a bonus step in mineral-nerd cool, as halfnium only occurs in a handful of comparatively rare minerals (to be exact, I count all of three on Mindat, of which one, hafnon, is the halfnium analogue of zircon and thorite, and is definitely on my short list of “species to collect, urgent”… but I digress).

Diagram depicting the integration of molybdenite into a transistor. Image Credit: EPFL

For more, this article from Science Daily (“New Transistors: An alternative to silicon and better than graphene) provides an excellent overview. And while I’m not sure that I care for the title of this article ( because guess what? I had heard of molybdenite already ) but here’s the article from the Discover Magazine blog. Have a look!

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One thought on “Minerals in the News: Molybdenite

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Minerals in the News: Molybdenite | Hexagonal Dipyramidal: A Mineralogy Blog -- Topsy.com

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