The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has named four new elements to the Periodic Table. The four new elements: Nihonium (Nh) is element 113, Moscovium (Mc) is element 115, Tennessine (Ts) is element 117, and Ogannesson (Og) is element 118.
My thoughts are in the area of new and improved semiconductor materials for the future.
There are two primary types of semiconductor materials in general:
1 Intrinsic in which the semiconducting properties occur naturally, making them intrinsic to the material’s nature.
2 Extrinsic in which the semiconductor materials are manufactured by scientists in order to get a specific behavior
First there was Germanium (Ge), then came Silicon (Si) which is the most common and we also have GaAs, GaN and SiC.
Most all of semiconductors which we use today are extrinsic and have thus been formed by changing their electronic properties and the two most common ways to do this are:
1 Doping which is the addition of another material’s atoms to the original material which usually results in changing an insulating material into a semiconductor.
2 Junction effects which are created by joining different materials together such as the p-n junction in a diode which joins a doped n-type semiconductor with a p-type semiconductor with a depletion zone forming around that junction. See also my blog on a Vacuum Junction created by NASA.
See also Semiconductor Materials.
With the coming NASA events like capturing an asteroid and a manned landing on Mars and beyond, I am thinking that we are bound to find some other elements that we do not have on this planet Earth, an example is Helium 3.
Who knows what we may find that may be our next great semiconductor material?