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58 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 fabricators for advice, and the fabricators are giving advice based on what they already know. Parent: Right. We're trying to bridge that gap and be a part of that solution, and we don't think that we have as much credibility ap- proaching an OEM as a material provider if we do it without a fabricator customer. We believe that two heads are better than one when we're going to solve a problem with an OEM. Johnson: What would Insulectro want the mar- ket to know about upcoming trends and devel- opments for materials and consumables? Parent: The challenge for our fabricator cus- tomers is knowing about and staying current with the materials that Isola and DuPont are bringing to the market. Many have a sales force representing not only the Isola and Du- Pont materials that may be coming through that shop but with two or three other competi- tors as well. It's very difficult to stay current on all of the capabilities of those materials. I would like our customers to lean on Insulectro to help bridge that gap and bring information to OEMs that help our customers win more programs. Johnson: It seems that there is a definite need for organizations and all groups within this in- dustry to step up and be a champion of educa- tion. Parent: Yes. We believe that there is so much to learn about what's available to make circuit boards more functional—it's challenging—but we can help. We are part of that solution. Johnson: Thank you, Ken. Parent: I appreciate your time, Nolan. Thank you very much. PCB007 A team of engineering experts at the University of Ex- eter have pioneered a new way to ease the production of van der Waals heterostructures with high-K dielectrics— assemblies of atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) crys- talline materials. One such 2D material is graphene. While the advantag- es of van der Waals heterostructures is well documented, their development has been restricted by the complicated production methods. The team developed a technique that allows these structures to achieve suitable voltage scaling, improved performance, and potential added functionalities by em - bedding a high-K oxide dielectric, which could pave the way for new flexible fundamental electronic com- ponents. "Our method to embed a laser writ- able high-K dielectric into various van der Waals heterostructure devices without damaging the neighboring 2D monolayer materials opens doors for future practical flex- ible van der Waals devices such as field effect transistors, memories, photodetectors, and LEDs," said Dr. Freddie Withers, co-author of the paper. The quest to develop microelectronic devices to small- er sizes which underpins the semiconductor industry has been stymied by quantum mechanical effects. To continue scaling devices ever smaller, researchers are looking at re- placing conventional insulators with high-dielectric-con- stant (high-K) oxides. However, high-K oxide deposition methods are not directly compatible with 2D materials. The latest research outlines a technique that allows for the creation of a host of fundamental nanoelectronic and optoelectronic de - vices including dual-gated graphene transistors, and vertical light emitting and detecting tunneling transistors. The research is published in the journal Science Advances. (Source: University of Exeter) New Technique Could Pave the Way for New-generation Flexible Electronic Components

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