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Designing A New Transistor For Cheaper, Faster Wireless Communications

University of Delaware

A new type of high-electron mobility transistor has been developed at the University of Delaware — and it could help change wireless communications. A team of researchers has designed a transistor capable of controlling and amplifying electrical current, allowing them to transmit data faster and more effectively than before.

The transistor relies on gallium nitride to control electrical currents, as well as indium aluminum-nitride, which serves as the barrier on the silicon substrate. All this adds up to some record-breaking properties for the new transistor. This includes a record low gate leakage current, indicating impressively low levels of current loss, as well as a record-setting high on/off current ration. This ratio determines the range of difference between the current in its on state versus its off state. Additionally, the transistor has a high current gain cutoff frequency that is also breaking records. This frequency allows researchers to determine how much data can be transmitted depending on the frequencies being utilized.

Engineers believe this new record-setting transistor could hold the key to developing wireless communication systems with a higher bandwidth than those currently available. As the transistor is capable of handling more voltage while relying on less battery power, this could prove a powerful tool in increasing the speed of wireless communications systems.

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“We are making this high-speed transistor because we want to expand the bandwidth of wireless communications, and this will give us more information for a certain limited time. t can also be used for space applications because the gallium nitride transistor we used is radiation robust, and it is also wide bandgap material, so it can tolerate a lot of power.”

uping Zeng, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware

But record-setting transistors aren’t the only thing this team of scientists is working on. They’re also developing another type of transistor constructed of titanium oxide. These transistors are transparent, making them ideal for an assortment of applications including backplane displays.

For now, the scientists are focusing on streamlining and optimizing their design. In fact, they hope to break the very records they so recently set — pushing wireless communications forward, and providing us with cutting-edge technology that could transmit information at speeds we never imagined.

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