Electrons can do all sorts of things, but when they are confined to a narrow wavelength of light, they can’t do much.
But researchers at the University of Illinois have managed to create a material that can, in principle, create a thin, flexible and conductive membrane for semiconductors, and they say it could be a game-changer in electronics.
The paper, published in Nature Materials, describes a method that is based on the theory of “superconductivity”, the ability of atoms to conduct electricity.
It’s the result of a year-long collaboration between University of Chicago Professor David L. Eisler and University of Michigan Professor Richard S. Stirling.
In this way, the researchers have created a material, called silicon valance electrons, that behaves like electrons in a conventional semiconductor.
“It’s like a transistor,” says Professor Stirling, who led the team that created the material.
The new material, which has been designed to have a surface area of a hundred nanometres, can be used to make a number of new semiconductor materials. “
This means that the energy of an electron can be converted to current, which can then be stored in the material.”
The new material, which has been designed to have a surface area of a hundred nanometres, can be used to make a number of new semiconductor materials.
The new semiconducting materials could potentially enable new kinds of electronic devices.
The researchers say the materials can also be used for flexible sensors, electronic components, and other applications.
The material has already been tested in the lab.
The scientists used an ultra-fine scale model of a nanomaterial to model how the electrons behave and how they are affected by the interaction of the metal oxide layers.
They then used the model to create an insulating layer that allowed electrons to pass through without damage.
“When we tested the material, we found that the material could not conduct electricity,” Professor Stirlings said.
“We used the same kind of technology to create the insulating material and the new materials.”
The researchers said they hope to develop new materials that could be used in semiconductor-based electronic devices and other electronics.
“The potential is there for new materials to be developed to solve a variety of problems,” Professor Eislers said.
The team hopes to develop more materials and more precise ways to control their conductivity, and to eventually develop new types of materials that can be more conductive and able to conduct more electricity.
They hope to be able to use the material to make semiconductive electrodes and capacitors.
Professor EISLER said it was important to make the material flexible, but he said it had been challenging to make it with a specific size.
“These materials are very thin, so it’s not surprising that they are extremely conductive,” he said.
He said it would be important to continue to develop the materials and to make them smaller and more conductorsome.
“If we can make them even smaller and better conductors, we can build a lot of very, very powerful electronics,” he added.
The work was funded by the US National Science Foundation.