New ultrathin semiconductors beat silicon
Silicon dioxide is a good insulator, and can be obtained by exposing silicon to oxygen. Chip manufacturers make use of this property to isolate their circuits on a die. Other semiconductors do not have this desirable property and require additional insulating layers, which is why today silicon is still the main material for building chips. But this may change in the future now that researchers at Stanford have identified two semiconductor materials that, when oxidized, become insulators, and good ones too.