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New semiconductors

August 14, 2017

Researchers hope the future of our semiconductors lies not within silicon, but new materials which can be used to create transistors ten times smaller than our current circuitry.

Last week, Stanford associate professor of electrical engineering Eric Pop and post-doc Michal Mleczko revealed a new study into the applications of semiconductor material potentially able to support computer chips just a few atoms thick.

Published in the academic journal Science Advances, the engineers report how two semiconductors, hafnium diselenide and zirconium diselenide, either share or go beyond the traits that make silicon such a popular semiconductor today.

All three, for example, can “rust.” While you would be forgiven for thinking that rust is not generally a desirable feature for metals and materials, in this case, the “rust” — encouraged by exposing silicon to oxygen during manufacturing — isolates and protects the circuitry.

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