Electronics manufacturers are looking for new ways to increase the electrical conductivity of devices.
One way to do this is to use an electron beam to align electron molecules with specific electron atoms in a material.
This could be used to create a device that uses more electricity to operate.
However, the process can be expensive and requires a lot of energy.
Now, researchers from the University of Chicago have developed an inexpensive and effective electron beam that can be placed on an atomized semiconductor.
Their device is the first one that can create the same conductivity in an atom that occurs in a dielectric.
The work is published today in Nature Nanotechnology.
The researchers used an inexpensive silicon electrode material and a nanoparticle with a hole punched through it to make an electron array that could be placed onto a semiconductor atom.
The device’s electrons are attracted to the nanoparticle.
The electrons then form a ring around the hole, which can be manipulated by applying a voltage to it.
The ring can be moved, and the electrons can be aligned to a specific location on the semiconductor material.
“We could now create an electron cluster that can provide the same electron conductivity as a dieletron,” says lead author Hui Wu, a postdoctoral researcher in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
The team’s device has several advantages over existing electron clusters that have to be used in a semiconducting material.
First, it can be used on a material that is extremely conductive, such as the silicon used in semiconductors.
“The semiconductor is one of the most abundant materials on Earth,” says co-author Yu Lin, an associate professor in MIT and an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
“Its conductivity can be measured in nanometers.”
The new device is also much smaller than existing electron cluster devices, and it has the potential to revolutionize the use of electron cluster materials in devices that use a lot more electricity.
The new system is also more sensitive than existing devices because it uses a laser to create an electrical current in the nanoparticles.
“This is one way to use a laser that is sensitive to the electron, so we can design a system that has a much higher energy,” Wu says.
“By using this technique, we can produce a device much more sensitive to electrons than existing methods.”
Wu’s team’s new system could also be used for applications such as creating flexible, flexible electronics that can operate with much less energy.
The system could be more than 100 times more sensitive, compared to previous electron cluster systems that used nanoparticles to conduct electricity.
“It is the combination of these two advantages that makes the system so important,” Wu said.
“In our system, we have developed a new approach for creating conductive electron clusters, that are highly sensitive to specific electrons, and are easily fabricated on a semicircuit chip.”
The team plans to further explore this technology in other applications, such to create electronics that work with other materials.
The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.