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Many of the technologies we rely on, from smartphones to wearable devices and more, utilize fast wireless communications. What might we accomplish if those devices transmitted information even faster?

That's what Yuping Zeng, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, aims to discover. She and a team of researchers recently created a high-electron mobility transistor, a device that amplifies and controls electrical current, using gallium nitride (GaN) with indium aluminum-nitride as the barrier on a silicon substrate. They described their results in the journal Applied Physics Express.

Among devices of its type, Zeng's transistor has record-setting properties, including record low gate leakage current (a measure of current loss), a record high on/off current ratio (the magnitude of the difference of current transmitted between the on state and off state) and a record high current gain cutoff frequency (an indication of how much data can be transmitted with a wide range of frequencies).

This transistor could be useful for higher bandwidth wireless communication systems. For a given current, it can handle more voltage and would require less battery life than other devices of its type.

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Category: Science