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NEW DELHI: Researchers have found a way to attach a liquid crystal to a semiconductor circuit, which could help them make the technology cheaper and more versatile.
In a paper published in the journal Science, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) describe a method that uses a liquid metal to attach the metallic component of a semiconducting chip to the semiconductor, producing a superglue.
The researchers have also demonstrated that the method can be used to attach electronic components to semiconductors, which is an emerging technology.
The paper’s lead author, Rajesh K. Bhaduri, is an assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Physics and Applied Mathematics (PhAM), where he studies semiconductor and optical technology.
“The key to this new process is the use of the metal as a catalyst, and the fact that it’s a liquid,” said Bhadur.
“This allows for a very quick, low-cost method to attach semiconductive materials to an existing semiconductor.
The process is relatively simple, and can be scaled to use a larger amount of the material than is required for the process itself.”
The researchers were able to use the liquid metal catalyst to attach silicon nanowires onto a semicomponent, and to form the superglues.
“When the nanoparticles touch the metal surface, they become electrically excited, creating a very strong magnetic field,” said Bhattur.
“In other words, when the nanoparticle touches the metal, it’s electrically charged.
When the nanopore touches the metallic surface, it generates an electrical current.
These two phenomena create a super-conducting conductive film, and they produce a strong magnetic attraction between the metal and the semiconductor.”
What’s amazing is that the voltage generated by the super-conductor and the magnetic attraction is proportional to the electrical current, which means the superconducting metal film is able to form an electrical connection between the two semiconductance layers,” he added.
The new process can be applied to a wide variety of semiconductments, including those made of silicon, gallium arsenide and other metals.”
Our new process works with semiconductor nanowire, which makes it a viable alternative for the use in devices like wireless transceivers and high-performance batteries,” said senior author Ramachandran Pandey, who holds the department’s Distinguished Chair in Applied Physics and Engineering.”
This process can also be used for other semiconductants, like gallium, aluminum, carbon, gold and many others, which are all used in some form in many devices,” said Pandey.
The research has the potential to dramatically improve the semicontrol of electronics, he added, adding that it also could be used in other industries, such as medical devices.
Bhattur said the technique could also be applied in medical devices, but cautioned that it would be difficult to make it commercially viable.”
For the next five years, we are working on a new method that can be useful for a wide range of applications,” he said.