Controversial MIT Professor Discovers New Semiconductor Material
- MIT professor Gang Chen and colleagues say cubic boron arsenide conducts heat 10 times better than silicon.
- Chen was investigated under a US government programme for allegedly hiding connections to China, but the charges against him were dropped earlier this year.
China-born MIT professor Gang Chen, who was cleared by the government of hiding connections to China earlier this year, led a team that’s discovered the best semiconductor ever found.
In a paper published in the journal Science last month, Chen and colleagues said that a material known as cubic boron arsenide could conduct heat 10 times better than silicon, the most widely used semiconductor.
The new material’s extraordinary thermal conductivity makes it a promising candidate for next-generation electronics, according to the paper by Chen and co-authors from MIT, the University of Houston and other US institutions.
Cubic boron arsenide also performs three times better than silicon when it comes to electron hole mobility, a crucial property for conductivity.
“If you build a device, you want to have a material where both electrons and holes travel with less resistance,”
Chen, whose expertise is in nanotechnology, heat transfer and energy conversion, made theoretical predictions about the unique electronic properties of cubic boron arsenide back in 2018
Chen’s lab was able to conduct experiments and prove their hypothesis using samples prepared by a team from the University of Houston led by another China-born professor, Ren Zhifeng.
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