Researchers at N.C. State University have developed a breakthrough that could have far-reaching impact on industrial and consumer electronics.
The chair of materials science and engineering, Dr. Jay Narayan, and his team at NCSU have developed a thin film that can handle more power and withstand more extreme conditions than solid state silicon electronics that have been in use for decades.
Better heat and radiation resistance makes it more suitable for automotive applications and space technology.
But there is another fascinating property of these oxide films. "These materials are also transparent," Narayan says, "so this makes transparent electronics possible."
Transparent displays, solar cells and embedded biocompatible medical devices are examples of where this technology could be used.
The material is the first functional oxide thin film that can be used efficiently in electronics.
This is the first time that researchers have been able to produce positively charged (p-type) conduction and negatively charged (n-type) conduction in a single oxide material. Using lasers, the team is able to precisely create the crucial positive-negative junctions resulting in greater efficiency.
Oxide films could be used to create higher voltage switches for the power grid, allowing more power to be transmitted on the existing infrastructure. This could make power transmission less expensive.
For more information read the press release from N.C. State.