Recently, researchers completed tests on the first computer chip produced using a substance termed a "promising" alternative to silicon. A team of researchers from Switzerland used a substance called molybdenite (MoS2), a naturally occurred dark-coloured mineral.
According to the group, this new substance can be used to create thinner layers as compared to silicon. Silicon is the most used component in electronics. MoS2 allows for the creation of smaller and more flexible chips which can be produced which will consume less energy.
At present, MoS2 is used in ski waxes, engine lubricants and also a plastics strengthening agent.
Research details have been released in the ACS Nano journal's latest edition, prepared by the director of the Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) in Lausanne, Proffessor Andras Kis.
Regarding the availability of the substance, Prof. Kis commented that, "There is something like 19 million metric tonnes around," as reported by the BBC.
"You can just go on some websites on the Internet and buy a 1cm by 1cm crystal for around $100 [£64]," he added.
If the proper initiatives are taken and experiments are regularly conducted, this new substance might prove to be ground breaking for the chip making industry.