Taking care of the heat that dissipated from semiconductors has been an imperial challenge for developers and manufacturers. The challenge gets bigger as we step ahead to form smaller and more efficient computer chips that support high-performance solar panels, high power lasers, and latest biomedical devices. So, the first breakthrough came from a team of researchers from the University of California. They modified acoustic photons energy- elemental excitations spectrum (quasi-particles) that spread away heat through crystalline substances like waves. For this purpose, they restricted the nanometer-scale semiconductors structure. These results will play a key role in dealing with thermal heat dissipated from electronic devices.
The semiconductor that was used for this experiment by the team was Gallium Arsenide that was created in Finland. They also used an imaging technique known as Brillouin-Mandelstam Light Scattering Spectroscopy (BMS) to observe the movement of photons in crystalline nanostructures. When they changed the dimensions of GsAs nanostructures, these researchers could modify the energy spectrum of acoustic phonons. The BMS that was used in this experiment was created at UCR’s Phonon Optimized Engineered Materials (POEM) Center that is directed by Balandin.
It is important to control the phonon dispersion as it helps in heat removal from nanoscale electronic devices. This has been the biggest roadblock for engineers whenever thy decided to decrease the dimensions of semiconductors. The same can also be utilized in the improvement of the efficiency of thermoelectric energy generation process.
The lead researcher of this group, Alexander Balandin adds, “”For years, the only envisioned method of changing the thermal conductivity of nanostructures was via acoustic phonon scattering with nanostructure boundaries and interfaces. We demonstrated experimentally that by spatially confining acoustic phonons in nanowires one can change their velocity, and the way they interact with electrons, magnons, and how they carry heat. Our work creates new opportunities for tuning thermal and electronic properties of semiconductor materials,”
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