Semiconductors & ICs

Access our comprehensive library of technical briefs on semiconductors & ICs, from engineering experts at NASA and major government, university, and commercial laboratories.

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Evaluating Effects of Exhaust Heat Recovery Systems on Fuel Economy and Emissions

The exhaust heat recovery system (EHRS) in an automobile captures the thermal energy from exhaust and transfers it to the engine coolant. As the car warms up,...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Compact, High-Resolution Rotary Position Sensor

It is often desirable to sense the angular position of a rotating part. Numerous kinds of rotation sensors have been developed over the years; one type is a capacitive sensor, where a...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Generating Light-Induced Electrical Current in Atomically Thin Nanomaterials

When hit with light, semiconductors (materials that have an electrical resistance in between that of metals and insulators) generate an electric current....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Switch Controls Light on a Nanoscale for Faster Information Processing

Photons, or units of light, are faster than electrons and could, therefore, process information faster from smaller chip structures. A switch was designed that bypasses a...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
“Soft Hardware” Cloth Has Built-In Electronic Devices

Optical fibers have been traditionally produced by making a cylindrical object called a preform — essentially, a scaled-up model of the fiber — and then heating it. Softened...

Briefs : Materials
Efficient Semiconductor Material for Thermal Management

Computer processors have continued to shrink down to nanometer sizes where there can be billions of transistors on a single chip. This phenomenon is described under Moore's Law, which...

Briefs : Materials
Polymer Nanofiber-Based Reversible Nano-Switch/Sensor Schottky Diode (nanoSSSD) Device

Innovators at NASA's Glenn Research Center have developed a unique nano-structure device that operates as a nano-switch/sensor for detecting toxic gases and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Conventional microsensors are limited by their short life, high cost and...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Hybrid Silicone-Fabric Sensor for Wearable Robots

Wearable technologies are exploding in popularity in both the consumer and research spaces, but most of the electronic sensors that detect and transmit data from wearables are made of hard,...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Electrical Contact to Molecules in Semiconductor Structures

To further develop semiconductor technology, the field of molecular electronics is seeking to manufacture circuit components from individual molecules instead of silicon. Because of...

Briefs : Nanotechnology
Atomically Thin Device Transmits Signals Across a Broad Frequency Range

The challenge of miniaturizing devices and systems is also achieving a broader dynamic range of detection for small signals such as sound, vibration, and radio...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Novel Synaptic Architecture for Brain-Inspired Computing

Over the past few years, deep learning algorithms have proven to be highly successful in solving complex cognitive tasks such as controlling self-driving cars and language...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Active Measurement Cancellation

A battery pack is only as strong as its weakest cell. As battery packs become larger and more integral to the stable operation of devices and systems, the need to monitor battery dependability and performance...

Briefs : Materials
Flexible, Compliant, Multiline Microprobes for Measuring Material Electrical Properties

The ability to measure the electronic conductivity of battery film coatings is a pressing need in the battery industry; however, these measurements can...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Faster, More Efficient Information Processing

For decades, computer chips have been shrinking thanks to a steady stream of technological improvements in processing density. Experts have, however, been warning that we'll soon reach the end of the trend known as Moore's Law, in which the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Controlled Manufacture of Porous Silicon Carbide

Extremely fine porous structures with tiny holes — resembling a kind of sponge at the nano level — can be generated in semiconductors. A method was developed for the controlled manufacture...

Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
The Ultimate ‘Smell Test’: Device Sends Rotten Food Warning to Smartphones

When it comes to the “smell test,” the nose isn't always the best judge of food quality. Now in a study appearing in ACS’ journal Nano Letters, scientists...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Researchers Create Precision Optical Components with Inkjet Printing

Researchers have developed an inkjet printing technique that can be used to print optical components such as waveguides. Because the printing approach can also fabricate...

Briefs : Materials
Printing Flexible, Stretchable Silver Nanowire Circuits

Silver nanowires have drawn significant interest in recent years for use in many applications ranging from prosthetic devices to wearable health sensors due to their flexibility,...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Material Brings Optical Communication onto Silicon Chips

An increase in computing performance has been achieved by squeezing ever more transistors into a tighter space on microchips. This downsizing has also meant packing the wiring within...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Linear Resonators Make Electronics More Resistant to Damage and Defects

Mobile phones, tablets, and other portable devices are prone to failure caused by small defects in their complex electronics that can result from regular use. An innovation provides robust protection against circuitry damage that affects signal transmission.

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Diamond Pellet Grinding Tool

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center has developed a numerically controlled grinding tool that eliminates undesirable periodic variations in surface contours in optical and other surfaces — such as mid-spatial...

Briefs : Semiconductors & ICs
Built-In Temperature Sensing Method in a Microheater

NASA Ames Research Center has developed an innovative built-in temperature sensing method for micro-heaters. The temperature sensing of chip-based microheaters is conventionally done with...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Modified, 3D-Printable Alloy for Flexible Electronics and Soft Robots

Liquid metal printing is integral to the flexible electronics field. Additive manufacturing enables fast fabrication of intricate designs and circuitry. The field features...

Briefs : Energy
Near-Zero-Power Temperature Sensor

A temperature sensor was developed that runs on 113 picowatts of power — about 10 billion times smaller than a Watt. The technology could enable devices that can be powered by harvesting energy from...

Briefs : Test & Measurement
Simple, Accurate Method for Contact Angle Measurement

The wetting behavior of a liquid on a solid surface is a phenomenon of significant practical importance. The angle of liquid-to-solid contact is important in areas such as adhesion,...

Briefs : Materials
Precision CNT Cutting Mechanism

NASA Langley Research Center has developed a simple mechanism for the clean cutting of high-strength and high-toughness carbon nanotube/poly-mer fiber composites on demand without high blade wear or...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Transistor Material Provides Additional Computing Degrees of Freedom

For several decades, improvements in conventional transistor materials have been sufficient to sustain Moore’s Law — the historical pattern of microchip manufacturers...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Fabrication Process Produces Nanostructures for Electronic Devices

Demands for improved computer processing power have led researchers to explore both new processes and other materials beyond silicon to produce electronic components....

Briefs : Materials
Nano-Sized Actuator Lifts Many Times its Weight

Actuators are used in a wide variety of electromechanical systems and in robotics, in applications such as steerable catheters, aircraft wings that adapt to changing conditions, and wind...

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Ultra-Wide-Bandgap Power Electronics

Power electronics used for routing, control, and conversion of electrical power traditionally utilize silicon semiconductors. These systems tend to be bulky, require active cooling, and are inadequate for...

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