The real dope on doping

Combining scanning transmission electron microscopy and atomic-resolution spectroscopic techniques has allowed researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge and at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, to probe individual silicon impurities in a sheet of the carbon-based material graphene. Graphene has been mooted as an important component of future microelectronic and optoelectronic devices with the potential to bridge the gap between conventional silicon semiconductor circuitry and a future generation of molecular devices. The presence of silicon atoms can affect graphene's properties and so understanding the behavior of this element, which might be present as deliberate dopant or as an impurity from the equipment used to prepare the graphene, is vital to future research and development on this material. Same approach could be used for other two-dimensional materials.