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Researchers Reduce Power Consumption by Half in Semiconductor Devices

Written by Stephen Vicinanza

The team at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), in Pohang, South Korea, has reduced power consumption in semiconductor devices by half, by embedding platinum nanoparticles.

The technique the team had said was like laying stepping stones across a stream. As long as the stones went from one side to another, getting across the stream was easy. The researchers at POSTECH have developed a technology that is like setting stepping stones, and with it, they have cut power consumption in semiconductor devices in half.

The team was led by Professor Junwoo Son and Dr. Minguk Cho at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. at POSTECH. They and the team succeeded in maximizing the switching efficiency of oxide semiconductor devices by inserting platinum nanoparticles.

The oxide material with a metal-insulator phase transition, in which the phase of the material rapidly changes from an insulator to a metal when the threshold voltage is reached. This oxide material is the core material in the fabrication of low-power semiconductor devices.

The metal-insulator phase occurs when insulator domains, a few nanometers, several billionths of a meter (nm), and units big are transformed into metal domains, also at the nano level. The main function of the system was to reduce the magnitude of the voltage applied to the device this increases the switching efficiency of a semiconductor device.

For this type of transition, the team was successful in increasing the switching efficiency by using platinum nanoparticles. When voltage was applied to the subject device, the electric current “skipped,” through the platinum particles and the phase from insulator to metal was increased rapidly.

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The technology is set to become integral to next-generation electronic device development, such as intelligent semiconductors and neuromorphic semiconductor devices that can process vast amounts of data with less power.

Minguk Jo, Ye-Won Seo, Hyojin Yoon, Yeon-Seo Nam, Si-Young Choi, Byung Joon Choi, Junwoo Son. Embedded metallic nanoparticles facilitate metastability of switchable metallic domains in Mott threshold switchesNature Communications, 2022; 13 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-32081-x

Nature Communications | nature.com

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For the past 8 years, I have been writing about embedded technologies, added to my technical, academic, and medical editorial experience, with companies like Elsevier and Cambridge University Press. I tell people to read what I write, not try to pronounce my last name. I am always available for comments and suggestions you can reach me at product-editor@circuitcellar.com and I promise I will take the time to reach back out to you. I live in the North East with my wonderful family.

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Researchers Reduce Power Consumption by Half in Semiconductor Dev…

by Stephen Vicinanza time to read: 1 min