Designers of semiconductor devices are like downhill skiers - they thrive on speed. And achieving speed in the semiconductor business is all about the stuff you start with. While silicon is still the mainstay of the industry, circuit designers also would like to put materials like gallium nitride and silicon carbide into wider use. Such advanced semiconductor materials can operate at higher voltages and provide faster switching speeds, an important characteristic in determining how fast a semiconductor circuit can process information.
Reporting in the Sept. 22 issue of Applied Physics Letters, a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researcher and a Korean guest researcher describe a new method for scanning semiconductors for defects that may help accelerate the market for these newer materials. The duo combined an atomic force microscope with a scanning capacitance microscope and then added custom software and a simple on/off switch for the AFMs positioning laser.
The result is an instrument that can measure how fast a material generates electrical charges and then map those speeds in sections (at least for gallium nitride) that are only about 100 nanometers square. Current methods for measuring switching speed (carrier lifetime) produce only bulk averages.
Phil Bulman | EurekAlert!
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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