News & Events
Expensive and rare metals can be replaced with more common
- September 26, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
The use of some rare materials in the production of modern electronics is becoming increasingly problematic, and primarily in terms of the specific volume of these materials and substances on Earth – some of these components are so rare that in the near future we may well be left without them, unless find a way to learn how to properly process them. So an experienced team from the University of Michigan presented their new theoretical and practical methodology for mixing some individual chemical elements from different groups of the periodic table so that they could compete with the notorious rare materials – of course, we are talking about more affordable substances.
At the center of a new practical study is a test of experimental laser processing called molecular laser epitaxy, with which a special type of concentrated laser beam is directed to substances and processes them in the form of a thin but durable film while maintaining their conductive properties. Moreover, this technique allows the creation of multilayer versions of such films with atomic accuracy.
Using this technique, specialists were able to combine elements from 2, 4 and 5 of the periodic table group – mainly zinc, nitrogen and tin – thereby proving the ability to create such valuable and necessary substances for the manufacture of various electronics using more accessible and widespread raw materials. Of course, since the technique is experimental in nature, it still undergoes additional checks and generally differs in some unstable moments, but experts continue to work on it.
It is worth noting that the presented equipment can work perfectly together with the technology for collecting and converting solar energy, and therefore it remains only a matter of time – when exactly the specialists from the University of Michigan will present the final version of their interesting development. It is assumed that by the end of summer they will offer the scientific community a more advanced type of similar laser epitaxy technique for materials.