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Silicon is the foundation for the entire microelectronics industry, and researchers are keen to learn how to extend its capabilities by attaching useful organic molecules to its surfaces. In his commentary, Yates discusses work recently published in J. Phys. Chem. by Hamers et al. in which they report the attachment of olefin molecules to the important silicon (100) surface. This may open the door to attaching other organics, while preserving their chemical functionality.