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MIT claims to have found the best possible semiconductor!

Silicon is now at the heart of our daily lives. In our smartphones. In our photovoltaic solar panels. It is however not perfect. But this new material closely studied by researchers could well be. Its name, cubic boron arsenide.

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Silicon is everywhere. In the chips of our computers. Or in our photovoltaic solar panels. However, this semiconductor material is far from perfect. It causes overheating issues. And don’t let all the “particles” loaded. A brake for some apps. But researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, United States) now believe they have found material that ignores these difficulties. They even refer to arsenide as boron cubic (c-BA) of best semiconductor never found. Even the best possible semiconductor!

Some — like You’re herefor his electric vehicles — have already switched from silicon to silicon carbide. Because, even if its electrical mobility is less, its thermal conductivity is three times greater. The MIT researchers’ cubic boron arsenide has a thermal conductivity almost ten times greater than that of silicon. And a high mobility of both electrons and “holes” — their positive alter egos. “It could be a game changer”comments Jungwoo Shin, researcher, in a press release from MIT.

More locks to break

The problem is that for the moment, cubic boron arsenide remains difficult to produce. At least in sufficient quality to allow it to express all these properties that interest researchers so much. This requires the material to be uniform. And current methods can only produce rather non-uniform cubic boron arsenide.

Another problem: there are still essential properties to make it the Designated Si Alternate which have not yet been tested. Its long-term stability, for example. “Until now, we haven’t paid too much attention to this material”, remarks Gang Chen, another MIT researcher. But now that some of these properties have been revealed, “Perhaps we will give it more credit and we will thus be able to develop methods to characterize it even better and to produce it better. »

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