It all began with the invention of the transistor in 1947 and silicon-based semiconductor technology! Electronic industry nowadays has transformed beyond our wildest imagination for the world of science-fiction isn’t just limited to Hollywood and books but a reality. Today, we’re surrounded by devices without which life would cease to exist, or so it may seem!
The performance of silicon-based devices improved rapidly in the past decades due to highly advanced processing and patterning technologies. On the other hand, nanotechnology further reduced the cost and miniaturisation have become streamlined further boosting the industry.
Recent developments in both the nanotechnology and material engineering introduced new pathways for electronics along with many other trends so let’s see what wewill find in coming years.
The discovery of graphene(a structural variant of carbon) introduced this field. Carbon atoms in graphene form a two-dimensional hexagonal lattice and the thick atomic layer is a strong thermal and electricalconductor. As it also has a high tensile strength and mechanical flexibility, graphene so far has been the strongest element ever tested.
The 2D revolution in electronics started with graphene but other elements such as phosphorene, stanene and silicone also have thick allotropes of silicon, tin and phosphorous. The identical honeycomb structure with varying properties for different applications!
“Plastic can conduct electricity”; the ground-breaking discovery laid the foundation for conductive polymers and its applications that won a Nobel Prize in 2000. Unlike the usual inorganic semiconductors and conductors, organic electronic objects are assembled from carbon-based molecules/polymers via chemical synthesis. The process also includes various organic elements besides just conducting polymers such as dyes, organic charge-transfer complexes and other molecules.
Low production and material cost, mechanical suppleness, adaptation of synthesis procedure and biocompatibility make organic electronics preferable for certain applications. Sharp display features in smartphones, curved televisions, coloured LEDs, portable solar cells and much more; all demonstrate theindustrial maturity of organic electronics.
The debate on the fourth fundamental electronic circuitboard element from the symmetry was argued upon in 1971 besides the capacitor, resistor and inductor. It was named as a memristor; a memory-resistor hybrid. Practical implementation of this development came forth in 2007 when a group of researchers from Hewlett Packard Labs (HP) found that memristance effectmight be there in the nano-scale system under specific conditions.
The finding, however, led to better storage of information making associated devices faster, safer and far more efficient. Even when switched off, there won’t be aloss of information as memristor-based circuits allow us to turn the computer ON and OFF instantly. HP has plans to launch memristor technology based computer by 2020.
The Spintronics tech
The “spin transport electronics” or Spintronics is referred to using fundamental particles known as “electronic spin” for processing information. The technology can detect magnetic field with a single or double “up and down” orientation, providing additional dual-binary states to the typical high and low logic values. Information that’s been carried in both charge and spin of an electron augment devices performance and offers great functional diversity.
The technology has been tested in data storage devices like hard drives and spin-based transistors showing promising results for the digital industry. It has the ability to manipulate four defined logic states resulting in greater data processing and transfer speed along with boosted storage capacity. Although we’re seeing the results, it’s expected that Spintronics tech would transform devices small, moreversatile and resilient as compared to the silicon counterparts.
Still, you can get your hands on some of the best electronic components in Qatar based on the technology as the region is making astride towards the future of electronics industry.
The pace at which technology’s growing seems remarkable as we’re seeing mere imagination come to life. For survival, it’s important hooking up to the latest trends to shape our tomorrow!