It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of silicon when it comes to computing, solar energy, and other technological applications. Yet there is still so much to learn about how to harness the capabilities of element number 14. The most-common form of silicon crystallizes in the same structure as diamond. New work shows that one form of silicon, Si-III, which is synthesized using a high-pressure process, is what’s called a narrow band gap semiconductor.
To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic ‘Si-III’ phase of silicon