An unlikely competitor for diamond as the best thermal conductor

An unlikely material, cubic boron arsenide, could deliver an extraordinarily high thermal conductivity – on par with the industry standard set by costly diamond – researchers report in the current issue of the journal ...

New plastics can conduct electricity

(PhysOrg.com) -- A newly discovered technique makes it possible to create a whole new array of plastics with metallic or even superconducting properties.

Ancient effect harnessed to produce electricity from waste heat

A phenomenon first observed by an ancient Greek philosopher 2,300 years ago has become the basis for a new device designed to harvest the enormous amounts of energy wasted as heat each year to produce electricity. The first-of-its-kind ...

Researchers generate electricity from viruses

Imagine charging your phone as you walk, thanks to a paper-thin generator embedded in the sole of your shoe. This futuristic scenario is now a little closer to reality. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence ...

Revolutionary New Solution for Semiconductor, Nano Materials

(PhysOrg.com) -- University of Maryland researchers have created a completely new way to produce high quality semiconductor materials critical for advanced microelectronics and nanotechnology. Published in the March 26 issue ...

Nanobelts support manipulation of light

(PhysOrg.com) -- They look like 2-by-4s, but the materials being created in a Rice University lab are more suited to construction with light.

New class of industrial polymers discovered

(Phys.org) —Scientists from IBM Research have successfully discovered a new class of polymer materials that can potentially transform manufacturing and fabrication in the fields of transportation, aerospace, and microelectronics. ...

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Microelectronics

Microelectronics is a subfield of electronics. As the name suggests, microelectronics relates to the study and manufacture (or microfabrication) of very small electronic components. Usually, but not always, this means micrometre-scale or smaller,. These devices are made from semiconductors. Many components of normal electronic design are available in microelectronic equivalent: transistors, capacitors, inductors, resistors, diodes and of course insulators and conductors can all be found in microelectronic devices. Unique wiring techniques such as wire bonding are also often used in microelectronics because of the unusually small size of the components, leads and pads. This technique requires specialized equipment and is expensive.

Digital integrated circuits (ICs) consist mostly of transistors. Analog circuits commonly contain resistors and capacitors as well. Inductors are used in some high frequency analog circuits, but tend to occupy large chip area if used at low frequencies; gyrators can replace them in many applications.

As techniques improve, the scale of microelectronic components continues to decrease. At smaller scales, the relative impact of intrinsic circuit properties such as interconnections may become more significant. These are called parasitic effects, and the goal of the microelectronics design engineer is to find ways to compensate for or to minimize these effects, while always delivering smaller, faster, and cheaper devices.

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