UI researchers look into electronic lifespans

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Research engineers at the U of I are developing new technology that could help electronic devices last longer.

In the age of high speed internet and 4K technology, they say there needs to be a more efficient way for devices like your phone to run and not overheat. Researchers are testing the use of gallium nitride semiconductors.

They could use phones, robots and autonomous vehicles. Experts say they could help manufacturers find ways to diffuse the heat that leads to damaged devices and decreased lifespans. However, even with this team’s discoveries, the cost of gallium nitride is another obstacle. “They are really expensive, although they have high performance. So what we’ve studied is trying to put these gallium nitride materials on scalable silicon platforms so that we can use the benefits of the materials but on a different substrate so we can reduce the cost,” said Can Bayram, UI Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor.

Essentially, the team is developing a way to layer silicon—the most cost efficient of all the surfaces—to grow a less expensive thinner layer of gallium nitride on top.

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