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Semiconductors


— Electronics

World's highest-performance single-molecule diode created

By - August 3, 2015 3 Pictures

As electronics miniaturization heads towards a theoretical physical limit in the tens of nanometers, new methods of manufacturing are required to produce transistors, diodes, and other fundamental electronic components. In this vein, a new range of molecule-sized devices have been created in the laboratory, though with varying results in terms of efficiency and practicality. Now a group of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University claims to have created the highest-performing, single-molecule diode ever made, which is said to be 50 times better in performance and efficiency than anything previously produced.

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— Electronics

Graphene device makes ultrafast light to energy conversion possible

By - April 15, 2015 1 Picture
Converting light to electricity is one of the pillars of modern electronics, with the process essential for the operation of everything from solar cells and TV remote control receivers through to laser communications and astronomical telescopes. These devices rely on the swift and effective operation of this technology, especially in scientific equipment, to ensure the most efficient conversion rates possible. In this vein, researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (Institut de Ciències Fotòniques/ICFO) in Barcelona have demonstrated a graphene-based photodetector they claim converts light into electricity in less than 50 quadrillionths of a second. Read More
— Electronics

New technique could produce the ideal light-absorbing material for solar cells

By - February 3, 2015 1 Picture
Solar cell efficiency has made significant strides in recent times, but cells are still far from their maximum theoretical efficiency, and part of the reason is that the semiconductors we use to build them don’t have ideal electrical properties. Researchers at Northwestern University have now found a way to tweak an important electrical feature of transition metal oxides, compounds commonly used as semiconductors, to build the optimal light-absorbing material for solar cells, lasers and photoelectrochemical cells. Read More
— Electronics

First germanium-tin semiconductor laser directly compatible with silicon chips

By - January 22, 2015 2 Pictures
Swiss scientists have created the first semiconductor laser consisting solely of elements of main group IV (the carbon group) on the periodic table. Simply, this means that the new device is directly compatible with other elements in that group – such as silicon, carbon, and lead – and so can be directly incorporated in a silicon chip as it is manufactured. This presents new possibilities for transmitting data around computer chips using light, which could result in potential transfer speeds exponentially faster than possible with copper wire and using only a fraction of the energy of today’s integrated circuits. Read More
— Electronics

Buckyballs and diamondoids combined to create molecule-sized diode

By - September 10, 2014 3 Pictures
Scientists working at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences (SIMES) claim to have created a molecule-sized electronic component just a few nanometers long that conducts electricity in only the one direction. In essence, a rectifier diode, but one so small that it may one day help replace much bulkier diodes and other semiconductors found on today's integrated circuits to produce incredibly compact, super-fast electronic devices. Read More
— Science

2D self-assembling semiconductor could beat out graphene

By - May 2, 2014 2 Pictures
Graphene may be talked about as the future wonder material (and for that matter, the present one), but it has one critical deficiency. It lacks a natural bandgap, the physical trait that puts the “semi” in “semiconductor," so it has to be doped to become effective. Enter Ni3(2,3,6,7,10,11-hexaiminotriphenylene)2 ... well, you can refer to it as a metal-organic graphene analogue for now. In addition to having a natural band gap, it’s able to self-assemble and represents a whole family of compounds that’s exciting to researchers for its novel properties. Read More
— Electronics

One-atom-thick germanium sheets could replace silicon in semiconductors

By - April 12, 2013 1 Picture
It consists of one-atom-thick sheets and it could revolutionize electronics ... but it’s not graphene. Chemists at Ohio State University, instead of creating graphene from carbon atoms, have used sheets of germanium atoms to create a substance known as germanane. Because of its numerous advantages over silicon, it could become the material of choice for semiconductors. Read More
— Science

Breakthrough laser cooling system could save space and energy

By - February 13, 2013 1 Picture
A research team at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has successfully used a laser to cool down a semiconductor material known as Cadmium Sulfide. The results of the recently published study could lead to the development of self-cooling computer chips and smaller, more energy efficient air conditioners and refrigerators that don't produce greenhouse gases. Read More
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