If all goes as planned, two rovers named Spirit and Opportunity will explore the surface of Mars next year, gathering a wealth of geologic information and beaming the results back to Earth. However, the environment is so extreme that the rovers will be equipped with heaters to keep the electronic gear warm enough to operate properly over the Martian winter when temperatures can dip to -120 degrees C. Future space probes will involve even more extreme environments, with temperatures as high as 460 degrees Celsius (860 degrees Fahrenheit) on Venus and as low as -180 Celsius (-292 Fahrenheit) on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.
George Harman, a world authority on materials for microelectronic interconnections and packaging at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), recently made a workshop presentation for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on designing semiconductor device interconnections to withstand extreme space environments.
Harman recommended that spacebound microelectronics interconnections be made with corrosion resis-tant, highly stable metals, especially gold. He also suggested the use of some newer polymers that can withstand extreme temperatures but are not yet used in the space program. "Flip chips" are another interconnection approach, that, with proper metallurgy, may make sense in high-temperature planetary environments. Instead of using wire leads around the edges of a microchip to export electrical signals, flip chips normally use a pattern of ball-shaped solder contacts that are attached directly on the chip surface. Harman suggested that NASA consider using flip chips designed with gold contacts to produce spacecraft electronics that are both space-saving and heat resistant.
Phil Bulman | EurekAlert!
Siberian scientists suggested a new method for synthesizing a promising magnetic material
23.01.2018 | Siberian Federal University
Complex tessellations, extraordinary materials
23.01.2018 | Technische Universität München
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
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