Engineers from the University of Utah have developed a new 2D semiconducting material that can be used to increase the functioning speeds of computers, smartphones and other electronics while consuming the least energy.
In a study published in the Advanced Electronic Materials, the engineers showed that the new semiconductor material is composed of tin and oxygen and is much able to allow the passage of electrical charges must faster than 3D materials made of silicon.
This new material has proven quite useful and good with transistors and drives the functionality of computer and graphic processors used in mobile devices and desktop computers. The new 2D material was discovered by Professor Ashutosh Tiwari of the University of Utah materials science and engineering and his team which is comprised of doctoral students K. J. Saji and Kun Tian, and Michael Snure of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Research Lab near Dayton, Ohio among others.
Most of the components of electronic devices and transistors are made of silicon among other 3D materials, but the problem with 3D materials is that the electrons within the layers tend to scatter within the several layers fixed on the glass substrate.
But 2D material has the benefit of being one layer thick and made of one or two atoms, making it possible for the electrons to move within one layer to achieve maximum speed.
In recent times, researchers found graphene, molybdenum disulfide, and borophene which are 2D materials that allow the movement of N-type or negative electrons. But only semiconductor materials that enable the movement of negative electrons and positive charges are suitable for electronic devices, and this is where Professor Tiwari’s 2D semiconductor material happens to be the first stable P-type material ever discovered.
“Now we have everything — we have P-type 2D semiconductors and N-type 2D semiconductors,” Tiwari said. “Now things will move forward much more quickly.”
The new 2D material would be suitable to producing smaller and faster transistors for use in today’s electronics, and the transistors can be made more powerful by packing more of them into a single chip. This will make smartphones and computers 100 times faster than regular devices, running on lesser energy.
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“The field is very hot right now, and people are very interested in it,” Tiwari added. “So in two or three years we should see at least some prototype device.”