In 2007 researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, created the first functional radio from a single carbon nanotube, one ten-thousandth of the diameter of a human hair.

Frontiers of Materials Science

New stacked silicon wafer configurations provide the opportunity to design and develop even smaller chips. Courtesy International Business Machines Corporation. Unauthorized use not permitted.

Since its inception in the 1970s the commercial semiconductor industry has experienced continuous, unprecedented growth. As the industry keeps expanding exponentially, fueled by the demand for faster, smaller, and more complex electronic devices, the challenges abound for chemical engineers.

Greater and greater performance requirements mean more and more sophisticated semiconductor chips. And at the same time manufacturing and environmental concerns must be addressed.

Moore’s law

In 1965 Gordon Moore, a cofounder of Intel Corporation, predicted that the number of transistors able to be placed on a chip would double approximately every 18 months. Now known as Moore’s law, his prediction still holds true today. Learn more >>

Water use and reuse

Sustainable manufacturing is concerned with the application of innovative engineering strategies in order to maximize recycling of ultrapure chemicals, gases, and, in particular, water. The main objective is to reduce the volume and the toxicity of the waste streams. Learn more >>

Advanced chip making

Most current semiconductor manufacturing processes are subtractive, where excess materials are removed by etching. The newer, less wasteful additive process involves metal or silicon being placed only where needed. Learn more >>