Chemists from the University of Michigan have found a cheaper and greener way to make single crystalline semiconductor films.
The fastest integrated circuits feature transistors consisting of germanium films on silicon, but such materials are typically only prepared at elevated temperatures and with complex machinery that involve hazardous gases.
Led by associate professor of chemistry Stephen Maldonado, the team has developed a method to simultaneously synthesise and deposit crystalline semiconductor films from water at room temperatures using equipment that can be assembled for just a few dollars.
"Our method doesn't require excess heat, and everything is done in an aqueous solution so we're not using any toxic precursors," Maldonado said. "And we're doing this without sacrificing any quality in the crystallinity of the material, which is usually the trade-off."
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Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
Not quite the chip fab I'm still looking for, but getting rid of chemicals and complex processes heps make it easier to set up a smaller, maker style fab.
Evil is evil, no matter how small