Semiconductors & ICs

Verilog-A Device Models for Cryogenic Temperature Operation of Bulk Silicon CMOS Devices

These models can be used in cryogenic electronics applications such as cooled imagers and sensors, medical electronics, and remote sensing satellites. Verilog-A based cryogenic bulk CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) compact models are built for state-ofthe- art silicon CMOS processes. These models accurately predict device operation at cryogenic temperatures down to 4 K. The models are compatible with commercial circuit simulators. The models extend the standard BSIM4 [Berkeley Short-channel IGFET (insulated-gate field-effect transistor ) Model] type compact models by re-parameterizing existing equations, as well as adding new equations that capture the physics of device operation at cryogenic temperatures. These models will allow circuit designers to create optimized, reliable, and robust circuits operating at cryogenic temperatures.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP


Thermally Resilient, Broadband Optical Absorber From UV to IR Derived From Carbon Nanostructures

This technology can be used in aerospace, semiconductors, antireflection coatings, optoelectronics, and communications. Optical absorber coatings have been developed from carbon-based paints, metal blacks, or glassy carbon. However, such materials are not truly black and have poor absorption characteristics at longer wavelengths. The blackness of such coatings is important to increase the accuracy of calibration targets used in radiometric imaging spectrometers since blackbody cavities are prohibitively large in size. Such coatings are also useful potentially for thermal detectors, where a broadband absorber is desired. Au-black has been a commonly used broadband optical absorber, but it is very fragile and can easily be damaged by heat and mechanical vibration. An optically efficient, thermally rugged absorber could also be beneficial for thermal solar cell applications for energy harnessing, particularly in the 350–2,500 nm spectral window.

Posted in: Materials, Semiconductors & ICs, Briefs, TSP


Magnetic Testing Technique Helps Ensure Reliability of PV Cells

Making use of the force generated by magnetic repulsion, Georgia Tech researchers have developed a new technique for measuring the adhesion strength between thin films of materials used in microelectronic devices, photovoltaic cells, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

Posted in: News, News, Renewable Energy, Solar Power


A Bio-Solar Breakthrough

An international team of researchers has developed a process that improves the efficiency of generating electric power using molecular structures extracted from plants. The system taps into photosynthetic processes to produce efficient and inexpensive energy.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Coatings & Adhesives


Metal-Assisted Chemical Etching

University of Illinois researchers have developed a method to chemically etch patterned arrays in the semiconductor gallium arsenide - used in solar cells, lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), field effect transistors (FETs), capacitors, and sensors.

Posted in: News, News, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, LEDs, Metals


Composite Metamaterial for Solar Tech

A Northwestern University research team has developed a new material that absorbs a wide range of wavelengths and could lead to more efficient and less expensive solar technology. The researchers used two unconventional materials – metal and silicon oxide – to create thin but complex, trapezoid-shaped metal gratings on the nanoscale that can trap a wider range of visible light.

Posted in: News, News, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Metals


MOSFET Switching Circuit Protects Shape Memory Alloy Actuators

A small-footprint, full surface-mount-component printed circuit board employs MOSFET (metal-oxide-semi-conductor field-effect transistor) power switches to switch high currents from any input power supply from 3 to 30 V.

Posted in: Semiconductors & ICs, Briefs, TSP