Professor Balandin receives funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) for developing the phonon-engineered ultra-fast low-power electronic and optoelectronic devices. The three-year $600,000 project aims at improving the electron mobility and reducing heat dissipation in the next generation of transistors and electronic circuits utilizing the ideas of phonon engineering pioneered by Professor Balandin in the late 1990s – early 2000s. Acoustic phonons are quantized modes of crystal lattice vibrations, which limit electrical conductivity of semiconductors while, at the same time, carry heat in semiconductors and electrical insulators. The innovative methods of controlling the acoustic phonon transport may have a strong impact on thermal management of electronic and optoelectronic devices. As the feature sizes of the devices continue to decrease and the amount of dissipated power per unit area continues to increase the problem of heat removal becomes crucial for continuous progress in electronic and optoelectronic technologies.
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