With the invention of the transistor in 1947, the digital era was born. And today we are surrounded by electronics. They have entered every aspect of life from food processors to rocket science. It never seems to be fully grown up as a segment. Every now and then a new innovation or development is made in the field of electronics.
The leading trends and developments in the field of electronics are as follows:
Two Dimensional Electronics:
These have been around since the inception of semiconductors. The most commonly used material for circuit board design is silicon. New material graphene is being explored for its potential in various applications. Graphene has a hexagonal two-dimensional lattice which has high electrical and thermal conductance. Due to its two dimensional structure, it has very high tensile strength and is mechanically flexible. Some other allotropes of silicon, phosphorus, and tin namely, silicene, phosphorene, and stanene are also being studied.
Conducting polymers, unlike conventional inorganic conductors and semiconductors, are constructed from organic molecules and/or polymers chemically. Though these polymers cannot compete with their inorganic counterparts, but yet they have many advantages over them. Organic materials are cheaper to manufacture, mechanically flexible, and their adaptability of synthesis processes and biocompatibility make them suitable for a number of uses. Some examples of such materials are photovoltaic dyes, organic-charge-transfer complexes, and OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes), being used in making curved display units, colored light sources and portable solar panels (photovoltaic textiles).
In addition to resistors, capacitors, and inductors, a fourth fundamental element has been added to the electronic circuits, a Memristor, as explained by MJS Designs. These small components work on electrons and ions whereas a transistor works on electrons only. Apart from storing charge, these devices are capable of creating a memory about the amount of charge transferred even when turned off. This is not the case with a transistor as it only operates on electrons and loses all information once turned off.
Amongst the five fundamental quantum numbers associated with an electron is the spin-off of the electron. The spintronics makes use of the spin associated with an electron apart from just the charge for processing information. The spin of an electron is measured in terms of the magnetic field associated with the electron which could be positive or negative (inward or outward). Manipulating four logical states rather than the conventional two binary states, high and low, may result in higher processing speeds and information storage capacity. Learn about scientific instrumentation on scimed.
The latest of all research going on in the field of nanotechnology is the development of molecular electronics. The building blocks for these nanomaterials, as obviously suggested by the name, are molecules or a group of molecules. The smaller size of the components decreases power consumption and increases the performance in terms of the sensitivity of the device. Another fascinating phenomenon associated with molecular electronics is the self-assembling tendency of molecules due to high interactions or sometimes, environmental factors as well.
The ongoing research in these fields is promising and when marketed, these have a huge potential to change the digital experience as we have it today.
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