Public Release: 

Tougher Than Silicon

Office of Naval Research

A rugged, powerful new breed of semiconducting devices may be possible with a new alloy of silicon-carbide and germanium developed by scientists at the University of Delaware. The research, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Army Research Office, is still preliminary, but results to date are promising. The alloy might handle hot, high-power, high-frequency microelectronic and microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices better than silicon, says James Kolodzey, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. The materials may also enhance the speed and stability of next-generation, silicon-carbide, which is 50 percent carbon. To date, the researchers have created an alloy with germanium levels of 1 to 4 percent. The alloy conducted twice as much current, compared to pure silicon-carbide.

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