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Analysis | November 25, 2016

Microelectronics without semiconductors? It can be done!

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have proved it to be true. Using metamaterials, the engineers fabricated the first semiconductor-free, optically-controlled microelectronic device
The result was a microscale device that shows a 1’000 percent increase in conductivity when activated by low voltage and a low power laser, according to a report on UC San Diego’s news site.

So why is this such a big deal? – well the capabilities of current microelectronic devices, lets say transistors, are in the end limited by the properties of their component materials – such as their semiconductors, the report continues.

This replacement could scale the speed, wavelength and power handling of microelectronic to beyond what is available today.

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