Scientists have found a way to quickly convert a semiconductor to metal and back


The researchers found that with the help of light, you can quickly switch the material between semiconductor and metal states.

Many modern technologies are based on transistors, usually consisting of several semiconductors, inferior conduction metals. Such a structure limits their performance and minimum devices. Although their properties can be changed by the method of chemical doping, but this process is irreversible.

Now a group of scientists from Max Planck Society found that it can be easily converted to a metal and back by a laser to the surface of semiconductor zinc oxide. Such photopering is achieved due to the fact that the light changes the electronic properties of the material. As a result, the electrons suddenly begin to move freely, and the current can also flow freely, as in the metal. After turning off the light, zinc oxide quickly returns to semiconductor state.

According to researchers, despite completely different approaches, the optical method affects the material as well as chemical doping. They also note that in such a way you can quickly achieve huge changes even at very low laser power. Switching occurs in just 20 femtoseconds.

This discovery can lead to the development of ultrafast transistors with optical control. In the future, the group will learn other semiconductors, hoping to detect more energy efficient options.

Earlier, we also reported on the development of technology that allows

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