SMT007 Magazine

SMT007-Jun2022

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JUNE 2022 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 37 activists are pushing the technology industry and battery makers to move away from cobalt to other battery formulations. Nickel Currently, nickel is mostly used to pro- duce stainless steel products. However, as the demand for clean technologies grows, so will the need for nickel. ese new technolo- gies require better quality nickel than is now in production. Shiing production from lower quality to battery quality nickel is a wholesale change which includes identifying sources for the much rarer nickel sulphides and modifying processing. Lithium e supply of lithium is considered pivotal to global electrification, however, as demand for electric vehicles increases, the long-term supply of this mineral is questionable. As the demand for EVs increases, strategic and crit- ical mineral supplies will struggle to keep pace. With an estimated 30-95 million tons of lithium on the earth, better design and recy- cling is required to slow the depletion, how- ever, researchers project that supplies will be depleted by around 2100. e equipment used to generate clean energy and the ever-increasing demand for improved storage capacity is highly depen- dent on mined materials, especially critical minerals. Proponents of clean energy technol- ogies and the mining industry cannot remain in their historic deadlock if net zero carbon is to become a reality. is interdependency requires common ground and urges both sides to map pathways to improved policies and streamlined permitting of pro-environment mining operations. SMT007 Noelle Lovern is a public relations consultant for the mining industry. Scientists from the NTU Singapore and the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) have developed a technique to create a highly uniform and scalable semiconductor wafer, paving the way to higher chip yield and more cost-efficient semiconductors. Semiconductor chips commonly found in smart phones and computers are difficult and complex to make, requiring highly advanced machines and special environments to manufacture. Their fabrication is typically done on silicon wafers and then diced into the small chips that are used in devices. However, the process is imperfect and not all chips from the same wafer work or operate as desired. These defective chips are discarded, lowering semiconductor yield while increasing production cost. Nanotransfer-based printing—a process that uses a polymer mould to print metal onto a sub- strate through pressure, or "stamping"—has gained traction in recent years as a promising technology for its simplicity, relative cost-effec- tiveness, and high throughput. However, the technique uses a chemical adhesive layer, which causes negative effects, such as surface defects and performance deg- radation when printed at scale, as well as human health hazards. For these reasons, mass adop- tion of the technology and consequent chip application in devices has been limited. (Source: Nanyang Technological University) New Technique Opens Door to Cheaper Semiconductors, Higher Chip Yield

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