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Semiconductor Miniaturisation Could Benefit From Cornell Research

The miniaturisation of semiconductors could benefit from new Cornell University research which saw a silicon structure move up to 12 nanometres.

A beam of light with one milliwatt of power has moved a silicon structure up to 12 nanometres, a development which could be used in the design of micro-electromechanical systems and micro-optomechanical systems.

Researchers at Cornell University used the tiny beam of light to switch the optical properties of the structure from opaque to transparent. At the nanoscale level, the force of the stream of particles from light can be significant, Michal Lipson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university, explained.

As electronics continue to miniaturise, it is important that semiconductors can be made increasingly smaller so that a higher density can fit on to the same sized chip, ensuring smaller and more energy-efficient products can be made.

The researchers used two thin rings of flat silicon nitride - which is a semiconductor - approximately 30 microns in diameter to make a structure. When infrared light at 1,533.5 nanometres was fed into the rings, they were deformed by up to 12 nanometres.

Nitride is often combined with gallium to form the semiconductors used in light-emitting diodes.ADNFCR-2855-ID-19465626-ADNFCR
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