Designer Crystals Created For Faster, More Powerful Electronic Devices

Posted: Dec 16 2015, 7:35am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Designer Crystals Created for Faster, More Powerful Electronic Devices
This is a close up of the metal organic framework crystals. Credit: CSIRO
  • Custom-Made Crystals will be used in the Field of Electronics in the Future

Custom-made designer crystals will be used in the field of electronics in the future.

Liquids have been called the kryptonite of electronics. That is because they corrode and destroy various high tech elements. Therefore to avoid this disaster, a novel technique has been implemented and it will have better results.

Vapors are used instead of liquids in the manufacture of designer crystals. In fact, this could easily be the next step in electronics for the future. It is remarkably revolutionary in all its aspects. And it will leave an indelible impact on the futuristic prognosis.

The method is invented by an international team of scientists from the University of Leuven in Belgium, the National University of Singapore and CSIRO. The findings of this study has been published in the journal Nature Materials.

Quicker and more potent electronic gizmos and gadgets lie in store for humanity. In fact, this is just the beginning. As the Reaganesque saying goes: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

An international group of experts, which was led by Ivo Stassen and Professor Rob Ameloot from the University of Leuven in Belgium, put two and two together and managed to invent the crystal creation process which is quite complex.

The designer crystals are known as metal organic frameworks or MOFs. They are grown using a vapor method. This involves the steam floating about on top of a hot pot of boiling water. These crystals are extremely porous in their nature.

When these crystals were applied to electronic devices, they increased their processing power to more than the ordinary degree. This of course holds great promise for future applications.

The only problem was that up until now these crystals were created via a liquid solvent and this interfered with their electronic applicability. It is rather like dropping your smart phone into a bucket of cold water.

It will malfunction within seconds unless it is of the waterproof kind. The corrosion and wholescale damage to the electronic circuitry is something that gets in the way. The novel vapor method is much more efficient and can simply revolutionize the microelectronics trade.

"Just like your smart phone doesn't like being dropped in water, electronic devices don't like the liquid solvent that's used to grow MOF crystals," Dr Styles said.

"It can corrode and damage the delicate circuitry. Our new vapour method for growing and applying MOF crystals overcomes this barrier and has the potential to disrupt the microelectronics industry.

At the atomic level, MOFs look like bird cages that can be designed to take on all sorts of shapes and dimensions. They also have a large amount of surface area. Being almost 80% empty, these crystals tend to have every single atom surrounded by empty space.

One gram of such crystals have a surface area that covers a football stadium. This might seem mindboggling but it is true. These empty spaces could be employed to trap the molecules of other substances.

These can change the properties in a jiffy. Thus a large number of transistors could be fitted on a microchip thereby making it faster than lightning and far more powerful in its effects.

"Crucially, we can use this vast space to trap other molecules, which can change the properties of a material," Styles said. "In the case of electronics, this means we can fit a lot more transistors on a microchip, making it faster and far more powerful."

As far as the imagination can see in this regard, the sky is the limit. The electronics of the future will be virtually unrecognizable thanks to this methodology.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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