Scientists from Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science, Netherlands have come across the thinnest glass in the world which is only as thick as a molecule. The glass is so thin that its individual silicon and oxygen atom are visible only through electron microscopy.
The glass discovered in the lab of Professor David A. Muller has also been published as holding the record for thinnest glass in the Guinness World Records 2014 Edition. The glass was discovered accidentally when researchers were making graphene, a 2D sheet of carbon atoms in a chicken wire crystal formation on copper foils in a quartz furnace. They noticed muck on the graphene, which on further inspection turned out to be composed of the elements of glass – silicon and oxygen.
Scientists therefore concluded that the glass which cannot be seen directly was created out of quartz after an air leak caused the copper foils comprising oxygen and silicon to react with it. A picture of the 2D glass was later produced and scientists are of the opinion that such a glass could be used in transistors by providing defect free, ultra thin material that could improve the performance of current processors in computers and smartphones.