Light-emitting silicon has helped create dense and efficient computer chips. The discovery of researchers from the University of Eindhoven, which was conducted by scientists around the world for 50 years, is described on the university’s website.
Each year, users around the world use and produce significantly more data than last year. In this regard, modern technologies based on electronic chips reach their limit. The limiting factor is the heat resulting from the resistance that the electrons experience when passing through copper lines connecting multiple transistors on a chip.
In order to process more data, technology is needed that will reduce heat production to a minimum. We are talking about the boundaries of silicon, which is used in all modern electronic chips.
In a new study, scientists created a silicon alloy that can emit light. Interaction with it does not lead to heat production – since photons, unlike electrons, do not experience resistance.
The alloy is a mixture of silicon and germanium in a hexagonal structure – when irradiated with a laser, it will significantly increase the throughput and processing power of the chip, the study says.
Scientists are now working on a silicon-compatible laser. Its creation will allow the development of chips, the speed of which will be several times higher than existing ones, the study says.