World’s first semiconductor-free microelectronic device is here
Engineers at University of California, San Diego, USA, have created the first semiconductor-free, optically-controlled microelectronic device. Using metamaterials, they were able to build a micro-scale device that shows a 1000 per cent increase in conductivity when activated by low voltage and a low power laser.
Capabilities of existing microelectronic devices such as transistors are ultimately limited by the properties of their constituent materials such as their semiconductors, according to the researchers.
A team of researchers in Applied Electromagnetics Group led by electrical engineering professor Dan Sievenpiper at UC San Diego, in order to remove these roadblocks to conductivity, replaced semiconductors with free electrons in space.
The discovery paves the way for microelectronic devices that are faster and capable of handling more power, and could also lead to more efficient solar panels.