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IPFS News Link • Techno Gadgets

Metamaterials enable semiconductor-free microelectronics

•, Colin Jeffrey

According to the UC San Diego team, transistors and other common semiconductor devices have an upper limit to their conductivity properties due to the restrictions inherent in the materials from which they are made. This is because a semiconductor's band gap (the set amount of energy needed for an electron to break free from the material and flow along a conduction path) means that extra energy is needed to allow electron flow. In addition, the velocity of electrons is limited in semiconductors as they collide with atoms while they move through the materials.

These limitations to conductivity are what the researchers at UC San Diego looked to eliminate by exchanging semiconductors with a metamaterial that allowed electrons to flow freely through open space.