By Gary Thomas
Following a 10-year long effort, researchers at the University of Washington (UW) lab have come up with a potential solution that can address the challenging issue in the electronics industry. Two engineers from UW have introduced Zplasma, a startup that will generate high-energy light required for creating next generation of microchips.
The UW beam has 1,000x more durability compared to related technologies, thereby ensuring better control over the million-degree light-generating plasma.
The technology industry has resolved the potential standard for creating microchips to be 13.5-nm light wavelength. High-temperature plasmas will contribute such extreme ultraviolet light. In order to generate this extreme UV light, the electronics industry experts use a droplet of tin, followed by shooting it with a laser that will result in plasma generating a brief spark of light. Using a $100 M machine, chip manufacturers achieve bouncing of light through a series of mirrors, followed by targeting the light onto a silicon wafer, where energy absorption from light is absorbed in each step.
High temperature of hydrogen plasma within the sun leads to the fusion of hydrogen nuclei, which in turn generates energy. Efforts are being made by the UW scientists to replicate this energy on Earth. A fusion reactor using hydrogen as its fuel and producing helium as a waste product will support this initiative.
The UW group targets on affordable version of a fusion reactor utilizing currents passing through the material to accommodate the million-degree stable and durable plasma.
Light produced through chip industrial techniques produce spark that has only 20 to 50 ns of lifetime, whereas Zplasma's light beam lasts 20 to 50 µs.
With the help of various supports, research team at UV was able to generate 13.5-nm light and also upgraded an equipment making it extremely compact and suitable to emit a sharp beam.