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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Faster, denser

The startup company Freescale Semiconductor apparently came up with a breakthrough in creating a stable oxide on GaAs, potentially suitable for creating MOSFETs. As GaAs has electron mobilities about 40x faster than conventional silicon, we may soon see highly integrated logic circuitry to accompany the fairly well established GaAs analog circuitry in a few years.

I thought the obscure choice of gadolinium as an oxide element potentially limiting until I noticed that other researchers at AMICA have hopes for Gd2O3 as a replacement for conventional oxide on silicon. A slice of perfect synchronicity in these recent discoveries, I must say.

More here.

In other perplexing news, a one-liner Findings blurb in the back of the most recent Harper's magazine referenced a crystal formed entirely of "holes". It only makes sense if you check out this link of a computer simulation. Alas, nothing remotely practical at the moment.

And disturbing news in the same Findings section in that buckyballs can conceivably bind to DNA and wreak havoc on cell formation. One has to ponder if Richard Smalley met his ultimate demise through an errant buckyball.

Faster, buckyball, kill, kill?


Professor Anonymous eric blair said...

'nanoparticles' like the buckyball are known to have toxic effects. Some forms are toxic to fish, other forms will 'travel along the nerve bundles' right to the brain. (I have no idea how the traveling is done)

2:06 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

How true, caught that fact in some of the links.

5:09 PM  

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