Semiconductor-free microelectronics are now possible, thanks to metamaterials

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have fabricated the first semiconductor-free, optically-controlled microelectronic device. Using metamaterials, engineers were able to build a microscale device that shows a 1,000 percent increase in conductivity when activated by low voltage and a low power laser. The discovery paves the way for microelectronic devices that are faster and capable of handling more power, and could also lead to more efficient solar panels. The work was published Nov. 4 in Nature Communications. The capabilities of existing microelectronic devices, such as transistors, are ultimately limited by the properties of their constituent materials, such as their semiconductors, researchers said.”

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