A team of researchers from the Australian National University has developed a new type of diamond-based ultra-thin transistor that could be more durable and outperform the parts used in high-radiation environments like rocket or car engines. According to the researchers, applications like car engines and spacecrafts currently use Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) for transistors. These compounds are often limited by their performance in extremely high-power and hot environments.
The researchers modified the surfaces of special forms of tiny, flat diamonds, which enabled them to grow ultra-thin materials on top, to make the transistors. The new materials consist of a deposit of hydrogen atoms with layers of hydrogenated molybdenum oxide.
The diamond transistor is currently in the proof-of-concept stage, but Replacing the classic transistor metals with diamond could help bring in the next wave of engines for cars and spacecrafts.