Novel nanostructures could make smartphones more efficient | 4/9/2019 | Staff
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EU-funded researchers and partners are pushing the boundaries of the laws of physics, developing nanocomposite materials and nanoelectronic circuits to greatly improve energy, thermal and computing performance. This could make smartphones and other electronics more efficient and boost the potential of solar power.

In today's world, nanomaterials play a crucial role in the emergence of intelligent devices and sensors, smart homes, autonomous devices, robotics, biotechnology and medicine.

Circuits - Heat - Processing - Information

But circuits have become so miniaturized and fast that they can no longer manage the heat generated during the processing of information.

"The standard ways of breaking this deadlock, such as by either generating less heat or removing it more effectively, are failing to keep pace," says Mimoun El Marssi of the Université de Picardie Jules Verne in France.

El - Marssi - Coordinator - ENGIMA - Project

El Marssi is the coordinator of the EU-funded ENGIMA project, which tackles this very issue. It focuses on how to redistribute electricity efficiently at miniscule scales, harnessing nanotechnology breakthroughs that are opening up new possibilities and applications thought impossible until just a few years ago.

A major challenge faced by ENGIMA researchers is the so-called Boltzmann tyranny problem in nanoelectronics.

Concepts - Electricity - Capacitance - Quantity - Charge

It relates to one of the most basic concepts of electricity: capacitance, a quantity showing how much charge needs to be placed on a conductor in order to ensure a given voltage. The standard textbook definition states that capacitance is always positive. Therefore, the larger the voltage, the larger the stored charge, and, in turn, the more heat will be generated by a device.

In a breakthrough development, ENGIMA researchers in France and Russia working in collaboration with Valerii Vinokur of the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory developed a permanent static "negative capacitor," a device thought impossible until about a decade ago.

Designs - Capacitors - Basis - ENGIMA-developed - Capacitor

Previously proposed designs for negative capacitors worked on a temporary, transient basis but the ENGIMA-developed negative capacitor is...
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