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article imageRare element helps develop high speed electronics

By Tim Sandle     May 26, 2018 in Science
A rare Earth element can provide a better starting material for the development of high-speed electronics, which can be used in communication devices.
Scientists based at Purdue University, have found that a new two-dimensional material, which is derived from the rare Earth element tellurium, can be used to help make transistors that carry a current throughout a computer chip, work faster. This forms part of wider research into the application of extremely thin, two-dimensional materials. Many engineers and scientists think these materials (which include graphene) have great potential for improving the operation speed of a computer chip's transistors. In turn, this will enable information to be processed faster in many types of electronic devices, including smartphones and computers, as well as defense orientated technologies such as infrared sensors.
Tellurium is a chemical element with symbol Te and atomic number 52. It is a brittle, mildly toxic, rare, silver-white metalloid. The element's extreme rarity in the Earth's crust is comparable to that of platinum. The the primary use of tellurium is copper and steel alloys; a secondary use is with CdTe solar panels and semiconductors.
Outlining the potential benefits, lead researcher Professor Peide Ye explains: "All transistors need to send a large current, which translates to high-speed electronics. One-dimensional wires that currently make up transistors have very small cross sections. But a two-dimensional material, acting like a sheet, can send a current over a wider surface area."
Professor Ye and colleagues have found that tellurene, as a two-dimensional film, can achieve a stable, sheet-like transistor structure with faster-moving electron "carriers". Furthermore, larger crystal flakes of the tellurene structure result in fewer barriers between flakes for electron movement.
The research has been published in the journal Nature Electronics. The research paper is: "Field-effect transistors made from solution-grown two-dimensional tellurene."
More about Electronics, Technology, Communication, wearables, Graphene
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