Coal: A Game Changer in the Semiconductor Industry
Researchers have recently made a groundbreaking discovery: coal can function as a 2D insulating film for transistors. This discovery opens new avenues in the development of electronic devices and technology. It is a significant development because it hints at the potential use of coal in creating advanced electronic components. The research was spearheaded by a team of scientists who successfully demonstrated the unique properties of coal in this application.
Coal as an Ultrathin Insulating Film for Transistors
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), coal can be used to create ultrathin insulating films for transistors. This could potentially usher in a new era of semiconductors with 2D materials. The study is of great significance as the growing demand for ever smaller transistors is expanding the range of materials that could serve as substrates for these transistors.source
The use of coal as a 2D insulating film could offer a cost-effective and domestically abundant material for semiconductors, potentially replacing silicon. The study found that a coal-derived material, when layered with graphene and molybdenum disulfide semiconductors, showed significantly improved performance over metal oxide and crystalline 2D insulators. The fabrication process was relatively simple, and the coal-derived material was found to be amorphous, noncrystalline, and 2D, making it an ideal insulating material for 2D semiconductors.
Coal and the Future of Semiconductors
Researchers have found a novel way to use coal to create ultrathin insulating films that could serve as substrates for transistors and all the components of modern computer chips. This could help usher in a new era of semiconductors made with 2D materials, driven by machine learning’s demand for compute power.source
This breakthrough comes at a time when the industry is seeking alternatives to silicon due to the demand for smaller transistors. Silicon-based semiconductors are reaching their physical limits, leading scientists to explore 2D semiconductors such as graphene and molybdenum disulfide.
A New Role for Coal in the Semiconductor Industry
The coal-derived material developed by the research team exhibits all the desired properties for effective use in 2D semiconductors, showing improved performance over traditional insulators. These findings have piqued the interest of industry leaders like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., indicating potential practical applications in advanced processors.source
This research marks a significant stride in the semiconductor industry. It not only provides a new use for coal but also offers a promising solution to the limitations faced by silicon-based semiconductors. With the potential to significantly improve the performance of semiconductors, coal could indeed be a game-changer in the electronic devices and technology sector.