Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is teaming with Sematech (Austin, TX) to develop a new material for the next generation of high-performance semiconductor devices, including advanced microprocessors. Through the $1.5 million project, collaborators will investigate mesoporous silica as an improved insulating material between metal conduction lines on semiconductor chips. The material, porous and uniform in structure, can be formed into thin films, potentially resulting in semiconductor devices that operate at much higher speeds, while consuming less power. Researchers at Pacific Northwest estimate that the new material should result in significant savings in fabrication costs, up to $500 million annually. FAX: (509) 375-2242.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
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