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A propos Michael Sweeney

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So far Michael Sweeney has created 342 entries.

Understanding surface science to manufacture quality cosmetics


A research team affiliated with UNIST has examined the rates of liquid penetration on rough or patterned surfaces, especially those with pores or cavities. Their findings provide important insights into the development of everyday products, including cosmetics and paints, and industrial applications like enhanced oil recovery.

This study has been jointly led by Professor Dong Woog Lee and his research team in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST and a research team at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Published online in the July 19th issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study identifies five variables that control cavity-filling (wetting transition) rates, required for liquids to penetrate into cavities.

In the study, Professor Lee fabricated silicon wafers with cylindrical cavities of different geometries. After immersing them in bulk water, they observed the details of, and the rates associated with, water penetration into the […]

septembre 18th, 2018|General News Feed|

The electronic transistor you’ve been waiting for


How do you pack more power into an electric car?

The answer may be electronic transistors made of gallium oxide, which could enable automakers to boost energy output while keeping vehicles lightweight and streamlined in design.

A recent advancement—reported in the September issue of the journal IEEE Electron Device Letters—illustrates how this evolving technology could play a key role improving electric vehicles, solar power and other forms of renewable energy.

“To advance these technologies, we need new electrical components with greater and more efficient power-handling capabilities,” says the study’s lead author Uttam Singisetti, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical engineering in UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Gallium oxide opens new possibilities that we cannot achieve with existing semiconductors.”

The most widely used semiconducting material is silicon. For years, scientists have relied upon it to manipulate greater amounts of power in electronic devices. But scientists are running out of ways to maximize silicon […]

septembre 10th, 2018|General News Feed|

Highly durable silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor TED-MOS for energy saving in electric vehicle motors

From TechXplore:

Hitachi, Ltd. today announced the development of an original energy saving power semiconductor structure, TED-MOS, using next-generation silicon carbide (SiC) material that contributes to saving energy in electric vehicles (EV). This power semiconductor is a new device using a fin-structured trench MOSFET based on the conventional DMOS-FET, a SiC transistor of power semiconductor. Using this new device, an energy saving of 50 percent was confirmed as the structure reduces the electric field strength, an index of durability, by 40 percent and resistance by 25 percent compared to the conventional DMOS-FET. Hitachi intends to apply this device in motor drive inverters which are a core component of EVs to increase energy efficiency. Furthermore, by utilizing this technology not only in EVs but also in a range of electrical transducers used in societal infrastructure systems, Hitachi hopes to contribute to efforts to reduce global warming and the realization of a […]

septembre 10th, 2018|General News Feed|

Helping the microchip industry go (very low) with the flow


A new study by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has uncovered a source of error in an industry-standard calibration method that could lead microchip manufacturers to lose a million dollars or more in a single fabrication run. The problem is expected to become progressively more acute as chipmakers pack ever more features into ever smaller space.

The error occurs when measuring very small flows of exotic gas mixtures. Small gas flows occur during chemical vapor deposition (CVD), a process that occurs inside a vacuum chamber when ultra-rarefied gases flow across a silicon wafer to deposit a solid film. CVD is widely used to fabricate many kinds of high-performance microchips containing as many as several billion transistors. CVD builds up complex 3-D structures by depositing successive layers of atoms or molecules; some layers are only a few atoms thick. A complementary process called plasma etching also uses […]

août 22nd, 2018|General News Feed|

Fujitsu triples the output power of gallium-nitride transistors

From TechXplore:

Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced that they have developed a crystal structure that both increases current and voltage in gallium-nitride (GaN) high electron mobility transistors (HEMT), effectively tripling the output power of transistors used for transmitters in the microwave band. GaN HEMT technology can serve as a power amplifier for equipment such as weather radar. By applying the new technology to this area, it is expected that the observation range of the radar will be expanded by 2.3 times, enabling early detection of cumulonimbus clouds that can develop into torrential rainstorms.

To expand the observation range of equipment like radar, it is essential to increase the output power of the transistors used in power amplifiers. With conventional technology, however, applying high voltage could easily damage the crystals that compose a transistor. Therefore, it was technically difficult to increase current and voltage simultaneously, which is required to realize high-output power GaN […]

août 22nd, 2018|General News Feed|

Re-interpreting Moore’s Law

From EE Journal:

EE Journal takes a look at the “end” of Moore’s law and what it means for semiconductor miniaturization and chip fabrication.

Read more: Re-interpreting Moore’s Law reposted by Silicon Valley Microelectronics.

août 9th, 2018|General News Feed|

Integrating capacitors into p-gallium nitride gate transistors on silicon

From Semiconductor Today:

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd have been jointly developing integrated capacitors for p-type gallium nitride (p-GaN) gate high-frequency power transistors on silicon substrate [Gaofei Tang et al, IEEE Electron Device Letters, published online 9 July 2018]. GaN transistors with a p-gate enable enhancement-mode operation where transistors are in the current-off state with zero gate potential. This reduces power consumption and allows fail-safe operation.

GaN transistors are being developed for high-frequency power applications with a view to high conversion efficiency and power density. Production on silicon should reduce manufacturing cost.

One problem with p-gate enhancement-mode transistors is parasitic inductance in the gate-drive loop causing over-voltage stress at high frequency. Parasitic inductance can be minimized by on-chip integration of high-voltage power switches and peripheral drive/control modules. Such integration is promoted by the availability of integrated passive devices – resistors and capacitors. Capacitors […]

août 9th, 2018|General News Feed|

NASA studies space applications for GaN crystals


An exotic material poised to become the semiconductor of choice for power electronics —- because it is far more efficient than silicon—is now being eyed for potential applications in space.

Two NASA teams are examining the use of gallium nitride, a crystal-type semiconductor compound first discovered in the 1980s, and currently used in consumer electronics such as laser diodes in DVD readers. Among its many attributes, gallium nitride—GaN, for short—demonstrates less electrical resistance and thus loses only a small proportion of power as heat. The material can handle 10 times the electrical current of silicon, enabling smaller, faster, and more efficient devices. In addition, it’s tolerant to a wide range of temperatures, resistant to radiation, and as it turns out, adept at detecting energetic particles.

It’s no wonder then that scientists and engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are interested in seeing how they could tap […]

août 7th, 2018|General News Feed|

Generation of random numbers by measuring phase fluctuations from a laser diode with a silicon-on-in


Researchers have shown that a chip-based device measuring a millimeter square could be used to generate quantum-based random numbers at gigabit per second speeds. The tiny device requires little power and could enable stand-alone random number generators or be incorporated into laptops and smart phones to offer real-time encryption.

“While part of the control electronics is not integrated yet, the device we designed integrates all the required optical components on one chip,” said first author Francesco Raffaelli, University of Bristol, United Kingdom. “Using this device by itself or integrating it into other portable devices would be very useful in the future to make our information more secure and to better protect our privacy.”

Random number generators are used to encrypt data transmitted during digital transactions such as buying products online or sending a secure e-mail. Today’s random number generators are based on computer algorithms, which can leave data vulnerable if […]

juillet 24th, 2018|General News Feed|

Rising microchip-maker demand boosts ASML profits


Dutch global hi-tech bellwether ASML Wednesday posted a huge hike in second quarter profits, after the technology industry snapped up more of its sophisticated microchip-making machines than expected.

Profits rose 25 percent year-on-year to 584 million euros ($679 million), up from 466 million in the same quarter in 2017.

“Our second quarter sales were above expectations including higher than forecasted EUV sales,” said chief executive Peter Wennink, referring to the company’s cutting-edge extreme ultraviolet light lithography machines.

The company, based in Veldhoven, revealed it had shipped four of the massive machines in the second quarter, one more than expected, with each selling for around 120 million euros.

It is on track to sell around 20 EUV machines this year, with plans for 30 more in 2019.

That pushed second quarter sales to 2.7 billion euros up from 2.1 billion euros in the same period in 2017.

“After an excellent first half of 2018, we expect the […]

juillet 24th, 2018|General News Feed|

Leti and Soitec launch a substrate innovation centre

From New Electronics:

Leti, a research institute of CEA Tech, and Soitec, a specialist in designing and manufacturing innovative semiconductor materials, have announced that they will be collaborating. as part of a five-year partnership agreement, to drive research into advanced engineered substrates, including SOI and beyond.

The agreement includes the launch of a new world-class prototyping hub that will bring together equipment partners with new materials, The Substrate Innovation Center will feature access to shared Leti-Soitec expertise around a focused pilot line. Key benefits will include access to early exploratory sampling and prototyping, collaborative analysis, and early learning at the substrate level, with the aim of eventually leading to streamlined product viability and roadmap planning at the system level.

Leading chip makers and foundries worldwide use Soitec products to manufacture chips for applications such as smart phones, data centres, automotive, imagers, and medical and industrial equipment. The Substrate Innovation Center, to be […]

juillet 12th, 2018|General News Feed|

Generating electrical power from waste heat


Directly converting electrical power to heat is easy. It regularly happens in your toaster, that is, if you make toast regularly. The opposite, converting heat into electrical power, isn’t so easy.

Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories have developed a tiny silicon-based device that can harness what was previously called waste heat and turn it into DC power. Their advance was recently published in Physical Review Applied.

“We have developed a new method for essentially recovering energy from waste heat. Car engines produce a lot of heat and that heat is just waste, right? So imagine if you could convert that engine heat into electrical power for a hybrid car. This is the first step in that direction, but much more work needs to be done,” said Paul Davids, a physicist and the principal investigator for the study.

“In the short term we’re looking to make a compact infrared power supply, perhaps to replace radioisotope thermoelectric generators.” Called RTGs, the […]

juillet 9th, 2018|General News Feed|

Undoped gallium nitride upper waveguide for reduced laser threshold

From Semiconductor Today:

Researchers in China have used an undoped gallium nitride (u-GaN) upper waveguide (WG) to reduce the threshold current density for an indium gallium nitride (InGaN) laser diode (LD) [Feng Liang et al, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., vol57, p070307, 2018].

The u-GaN waveguide was positioned between the last quantum barrier of the multiple quantum well active region of the device and the p-type aluminium gallium nitride (p-AlGaN) electron-blocking layer (EBL). This reverses the conventional order for III-nitride laser diodes (Figure 1). The use of an undoped rather than doped GaN waveguide reduced optical losses, allowing lasing to occur at lower current injection. The upper waveguide layer confines the optical field away from the lossy p-type regions. Also, the new structure with u-GaN upper waveguide avoids diffusion of dopants into the active region, which also saps recombination into photons.

The research team included engineering scientists from Institute of Semiconductors, University of […]

juillet 9th, 2018|General News Feed|

Thiol molecules drive gold atoms to form a forest of nanowires with useful properties

Adjustments to sulfur-containing molecules have enabled researchers to precisely control the growth of gold nanowires, which are potentially useful in various applications including biosensors and catalysis.

Ligand molecules are used to prevent nanostructures from growing too large, or forming unwanted shapes. Suzhu Yu of the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology and colleagues had previously found that sulfur-containing molecules called thiols, which bind to gold, could be used to grow very thin gold nanowires. Now they have investigated how exactly these thiols do their job, and shown that different types of thiols can fine-tune the shape and size of the nanowires.

The researchers attached gold particles a few nanometers wide to a wafer of silicon, and then dipped this assembly into a solution containing a gold compound, a thiol ligand, and a reducing agent that generated gold atoms. When they used a ligand called 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (4-MBA), the nanoparticles sprouted a forest of gold nanowires […]

juin 25th, 2018|General News Feed|

What Happened To Selective Deposition?

From Semiconductor Engineering:

For years, the industry has been working on an advanced technology called area-selective deposition for chip production at 5nm and beyond.

Area-selective deposition, an advanced self-aligned patterning technique, is still in R&D amid a slew of challenges with the technology. But the more advanced forms of technology are beginning to make some progress, possibly inching closer from the lab to the fab.

The concept behind the technology isn’t new. For decades, chipmakers have used deposition, a process that deposits a blanket of materials on a surface. In area-select deposition, though, the idea is to use atomic layer deposition (ALD) to deposit materials in exact places. Using a bottoms-up approach, area-selective deposition, sometimes called area-selective ALD, is used to pattern and self-align tiny features on devices. Potentially, it could reduce the number of lithography and etch steps in the manufacturing flow.

For years the industry has used various forms of selective deposition in the fab to deposit […]

juin 25th, 2018|General News Feed|

High-material-yield halogen-free vapor phase epitaxy of gallium nitride

From Semiconductor Today:

Toyota Central R&D Labs Inc in Japan has been exploring ways to improve gallium use in growing gallium nitride (GaN) by vapor-phase epitaxy (VPE) on sapphire [Daisuke Nakamura and Taishi Kimura, Appl. Phys. Express, vol11, p065502, 2018]. Fast growth by hydride VPE typically incorporates less than 10% of the source gallium metal. The Toyota researchers comment: “This low yield is probably due to several factors, including a reverse reaction (etching) and the presence of a thick stagnant boundary layer on the seed surface (since the process is carried out under atmospheric pressure).”

The US Geological Survey estimates the global annual supply of gallium to be 300-400 tons, typically as a by-product of aluminium extraction, so this is clearly not a material to be wasted. It is further estimated that gallium constitutes 18-19 parts per million of the Earth’s crust.

And III-nitride applications such as short-wavelength light emission and and […]

juin 25th, 2018|General News Feed|

Sounding out lasing in silicon

From Physics World:

Combining photonics and electronics would bring the advantages of speedy optical data transfer to the increasingly miniaturized world of electronics. Ideally photonics and electronics elements would be seamlessly integrated but many traditional photonics components are tricky to replicate in silicon, a fundamental challenge being a source of light on-chip. Now researchers at Yale University, Arizona University and the University of Texas at Austin show how this hurdle may be tackled using a silicon Brillouin laser.

When a material is strained, its refractive index changes due to “Brillouin scattering” from strain-induced deformations. In a crystal this strain may be due to acoustic vibrations in response to the electric field from an intense beam of light – stimulated Brillouin scattering. Put this scenario in a ring structure where the optical gain from stimulated scattering overcomes roundtrip loss and you have a Brillouin laser.

While the power and flexibility of Brillouin lasers […]

juin 19th, 2018|General News Feed|

Scientists demonstrate coherent coupling between a quantum dot and a donor atom in silicon


Quantum computers could tackle problems that current supercomputers can’t. Quantum computers rely on quantum bits, or “qubits.” Current computers perform millions of calculations, one after the other. Qubit coupling allows quantum computers to perform them all at the same time. Qubits could store the data that add up to bank accounts and medical records. In an unusual twist, qubits represent data by the binary state of electron spins. Two systems existed to create qubits. Researchers successfully integrated the systems—donor atoms and quantum dots. The new qubits don’t let the spins, and hence the data, degrade. Specifically, the bits demonstrate coherent coupling of the electron spins. This hybrid approach, which has remained elusive until now, exploits the advantages of the two qubit systems.

For almost two decades, scientists have created theoretical proposals of such a hybrid qubit (donor qubit) architecture. Now, researchers have made an important step toward the practical realization of silicon […]

juin 19th, 2018|General News Feed|

Robot vision makes solar cell manufacture more efficient


“The price of solar-generated electricity continues to plummet, and the technology is taking over as the least expensive form of energy in more and more parts of the world,” says solar cell researcher John Atle Bones at SINTEF.

“We’re at an economic tipping point that favours solar cell technology,” he says. “Good illustrations of this from the USA include the Berkeley Energy Group/EDF Renewable Energy project, which recently shut down a coal mine and established a solar park on the same site. In California, the authorities have recently decided to introduce roof-based solar panel standards for new housing,” explains Bones.

Perfecting raw material selection

Price reductions in increasingly more popular solar panels are the result of developments in both technology and production methods – and it is exactly this technology and its raw materials that Bones and his colleagues are looking into. SINTEF researchers now intend to use robots to enhance the quality of […]

juin 18th, 2018|General News Feed|

MXene’s tour de force


Is there anything MXene materials can’t do?

Since the discovery of a large new family of two-dimensional materials by Drexel University researchers in 2011, continued exploration has revealed their exceptional ability to store energy, block electromagnetic interference, purify water and even ward off bacteria. And, as recent research now suggests, MXenes are also very durable—the strongest material of its kind, according to a new study in the journal Science Advances.

The finding, presented by researchers at Drexel and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, shows that MXenes rate the highest among two-dimensional materials produced by solution processing—the standard method for making scalable, practically useful materials in the lab—in a measure called “elastic modulus.”

In a side-by-side comparison with graphene oxide or reduced graphene oxide, promising new materials that are already being used to add strength to rubber and polymers, a flake of the MXene titanium carbide proved to be about 50 percent stiffer.

This test of strength is performed by placing […]

juin 18th, 2018|General News Feed|

Taiwan solar poly-Si wafer makers to ask for government help

From Digitimes:
Taiwan-based poly-Si solar wafer makers Green Energy Technology (GET), Gigastorage, Sino-American Silicon Products (SAS) and Danen Technology will jointly file a petition asking the government to adjust feed-in tariffs, according to industry sources.
The government offers a 6% markup in feed-in tariff rate for PV power stations or rooftop systems that adopt high-efficiency modules with VPC (voluntary product certification) from Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection, the sources said. Consequently, PV modules made of mono-Si solar cells are adopted for 80% of PV power stations and rooftop systems, the sources noted.
However, 90% of mono-Si wafers used to make solar cells are imported from China, as AUO Crystal is the only Taiwan-based maker of solar mono-Si wafers, and all others Taiwan-based makers mostly or merely produce poly-Si wafers, together taking up over 80% of Taiwan’s solar wafer output, the sources indicated.
As a result, Taiwan-based solar poly-Si wafer makers have benefited […]

juin 14th, 2018|General News Feed|

New laser makes silicon ‘sing’


Yale scientists have created a new type of silicon laser that uses sounds waves to amplify light. A study about the discovery appears June 8 in the online edition of the journal Science.

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in translating optical technologies—such as fiber optics and free-space lasers—into tiny optical or “photonic” integrated circuits. Using light rather than electricity for integrated circuits permits sending and processing information at speeds that would be impossible with conventional electronics. Researchers say silicon photonics—optical circuits based on silicon chips—are one of the leading platforms for such technologies, thanks to their compatibility with existing microelectronics.

“We’ve seen an explosion of growth in silicon photonic technologies the past few of years,” said Peter Rakich, an associate professor of applied physics at Yale who led the research. “Not only are we beginning to see these technologies enter commercial products that help our data centers run flawlessly, we also are […]

juin 14th, 2018|General News Feed|

Gallium nitride tunnel junctions from pure MOCVD process for VCSELs


University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) in the USA claims the first demonstration of a III-nitride semiconductor vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) with a tunnel junction (TJ) on the p-side using only metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) material growth [SeungGeun Lee et al, Appl. Phys. Express, vol11, p062703, 2018].

Tunnel junctions are seen as an alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO) as a current-spreading material on the p-side of light-emitting III-nitride devices. Indium tin oxide increases laser threshold currents and absorbs light, reducing efficiency.

VCSELs offer desirable characteristics such as compactness, low thresholds, large modulation bandwidth, narrow linewidths, and circular beam patterns.

Tunnel junctions of heavily doped p- and n-type material have been created before for VCSELs, but the UCSB team reports that these have used hybrid growth processes involving MOCVD and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). An MOCVD-only process is preferred since MBE is performed at lower temperatures, leading to higher defect […]

juin 14th, 2018|General News Feed|

Robot and machine vision aid silicon solar cell manufacture

From Laser Focus World:

Perfecting the manufacture of monocrystalline silicon (the material that forms the basis of most photovoltaic panels) has been preoccupying the research community at SINTEF (Trondheim, Norway) for many years. The researchers have now focused their attention and, more to the point, that of their sensors on the important quartz crucible that plays one of the key roles in the manufacture of solar cells. They have developed an optical-sensor-laden robot to better inspect these crucibles.

Technology that enables robust product simulations is critical to a smooth product development process—especially during six common situations when you can’t afford to get it wrong. Learn how the best teams find errors before they’re failures.

Quartz crucible characteristics
These quartz crucibles are between 50 and 70 cm in diameter with walls about 1 cm thick. The quality of a crucible is very important. If it is inadequate, the end product will be unusable. The crucible is built up of […]

juin 13th, 2018|General News Feed|

Does nanoconfinement affect the interaction between two materials placed in contact?


A research team from the Université libre de Bruxelles shows that it is possible to estimate how nanoconfinement affects the number of contacts formed by two materials placed in intimate contact and, hence, the interfacial interactions.

They considered wafers of silicon, as those largely used in microelectronics, coated by thin polymer layers of different thickness. The currently used approximate methods predict that the interaction between the two materials does not depend on the thickness of the polymer layer. On the contrary, the team of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) lead by Simone Napolitano (Polymer and Soft Matter Dynamics – Faculty of Sciences), showed that size does matter. Molecules at the interface of thinner films form less contacts with the silicon wafer, because the vdW forces (van der Waals (vdW) forces, that depend on the dimension of the objects involved) are weaker. The method used permitted to verify a striking correlation between the […]

juin 13th, 2018|General News Feed|

Silicon provides a way to control quantum bits for faster algorithms

From New Electronics:
A discovery of an enhanced spin-orbit interaction in silicon could be used to manipulate quantum bits. The hope is this could lead to faster and longer-lived information processing via quantum computing.
The researchers from Purdue University, the Technological University of Delft, Netherlands and the University of Wisconsin-Madison explain that this finding can be used to control qubits using electric fields, without the need for any artificial agents.

“Qubits encoded in the spins of electrons are especially long-lived in silicon, but they are difficult to control by electric fields. Spin-orbit interaction is an important knob for the design of qubits that was thought to be small in this material, traditionally,” explains Assistant Professor Rajib Rahman, research assistant professor at Purdue.

The researchers found more prominent spin-orbit interaction than usual at the surface of silicon where qubits are located in the form of so-called quantum dots – electrons confined in three dimensions. […]

juin 12th, 2018|General News Feed|

Tiny defects in semiconductors created ‘speed bumps’ for electrons—researchers cleared the path


UCLA scientists and engineers have developed a new process for assembling semiconductor devices. The advance could lead to much more energy-efficient transistors for electronics and computer chips, diodes for solar cells and light-emitting diodes, and other semiconductor-based devices.

A paper about the research was published in Nature. The study was led by Xiangfeng Duan, professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UCLA College, and Yu Huang, professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering. The lead author is Yuan Liu, a UCLA postdoctoral fellow.

Their method joins a semiconductor layer and a metal electrode layer without the atomic-level defects that typically occur when other processes are used to build semiconductor-based devices. Even though those defects are minuscule, they can trap electrons traveling between the semiconductor and the adjacent metal electrodes, which makes the devices less efficient than they could be. The electrodes in semiconductor-based devices are what enable […]

juin 12th, 2018|General News Feed|

Solar cells combining silicon with perovskite have achieved record efficiency of 25.2 percent

From Tech Xplore:

In the field of photovoltaic technologies, silicon-based solar cells make up 90 percent of the market. In terms of cost, stability and efficiency (20-22 percent for a typical solar cell on the market), they are well ahead of the competition.

However, after decades of research and investment, silicon-based solar cells are now close to their maximum theoretical efficiency. As a result, new concepts are required to achieve a long-term reduction in solar electricity prices and allow photovoltaic technology to become a more widely adopted way of generating power.

One solution is to place two different types of solar cells on top of each other to maximize the conversion of light rays into electrical power. These “double-junction” cells are being widely researched in the scientific community, but are expensive to make. Now, research teams in Neuchâtel—from EPFL’s Photovoltaics Laboratory and the CSEM PV-center—have developed an economically competitive solution. They have integrated a perovskite cell directly on […]

juin 12th, 2018|General News Feed|

Intel is now capable of producing full silicon wafers of quantum computing chips

From TechSpot:

Why it matters: Mass production of quantum compute devices could fundamentally change how we look at traditional silicon. Although not necessarily a replacement for conventional hardware, quantum technologies allow for many difficult problems to be solved that would otherwise be impossible to comprehend.

Last year, Intel was able to take a few steps forward towards the commercialization of quantum computing. A 17-qubit superconducting chip was built followed by CEO Brian Krzanich showing off a test chip at CES 2018 with 49 qubits.

Unlike previous quantum efforts at Intel, this latest batch of wafers are focusing on spin qubits instead of superconducting qubits. This secondary technology is still a few years behind superconducting quantum efforts but could turn out to be more easily scalable.

Moving forward, Intel now has the capability to produce up to five silicon wafers every week containing up to 26-qubit quantum chips. This achievement means that Intel has greatly increased the […]

juin 11th, 2018|General News Feed|

The interface between two tin-oxide semiconductors can exhibit unexpected metallic properties


Metal oxidation is harnessed in many industrial applications. KAUST researchers have modeled the boundary between two metal oxides to reveal their metallic properties, which could lead to positive applications in electronics.

Our familiarity with rust, which occurs through the oxidation of iron to make it flaky and weak, means we usually consider oxidation of metals to be detrimental. But some metal oxides are useful. For example, they have great potential in electronics because they can be both transparent and flexible. They can exhibit magnetic properties, which opens the door to high-performance, ultrafast computer memories. They can be sensitive to their environment, making them useful for gas sensors.

Recently, the potential of semiconducting tin monoxide (SnO) for electronic applications was revealed when KAUST scientists determined a record high mobility, which refers to how easily a charge-carrying particle can travel through the material. In this case, the charge carriers were not electrons, but holes. Holes behave […]

juin 11th, 2018|General News Feed|