HKUST Electronic Engineers Honored for Novel High-speed Energy-saving Transistors


A research team led by Prof Kei May Lau, Chair Professor in the Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), has developed a novel "match-making" technology to deposit next-generation high-speed energy-efficient transistors on silicon using high-mobility compound semiconductor materials. These devices seek to reduce power consumption by as much as 10 times and increase switching speed five folds. The team has received the JSAP Outstanding Paper Award by The Japan Society of Applied Physics, the only research team in Hong Kong and Mainland China to receive this award in its history since 1979.

The field of microelectronics is profoundly changing the world and daily life through computers, mobiles and other electronic gadgets. With the continuous demand for increases in speed and functionality, there is an on-going need for high-performance transistors that can be used in integrated circuits (IC). HKUST is one of few leading teams around the world pursuing research of high-performance compound devices on conventional silicon.

With support from major multi-international companies in the field and public funding, the HKUST research team has achieved excellent compound crystals grown on silicon, using the novel "match-making" technology for naturally mismatched crystals. They have also demonstrated high-speed transistors and photo-detectors utilizing these compound crystals with comparable performance to those using high-cost matching crystals. According to a projection from industry associates, such devices can lead to a 3X enhancement of performance and 10X reduction of power consumption. Such technology is expected to be widely used by the semiconductor IC industry sector in the future.

The JSAP Outstanding Paper Award honors excellent original papers contributing to the progress and improvement of applied physics. Related research by the HKUST team has been published in prestigious journals, including IEEE Electron Device LettersIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, and Applied Physics Express. The HKUST researchers have also presented their findings at the International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM) 2012, the 10th Topical Workshop on Heterostructure Microelectronics and the 74th JSAP Autumn Meeting 2013.

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Ella Au Yeung

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 The research team led by Prof Kei May Lau (second right).
The research team led by Prof Kei May Lau (second right).
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