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!
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Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture
17.02.2020 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...
Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...
Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices
The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.
Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.
After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.
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