China’s MIT professor helps find ‘game-changer’ months after being indicted on espionage charges

A Chinese professor previously accused of espionage helped discover what the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) called “the best semiconductor material ever discovered.”

MIT professor Gang Cheng was one of several Chinese researchers at US universities who were recently indicted for their ties to the Chinese government. Last year he was arrested by federal agents, finally cleared by the Department of Justice Suspicion of espionage due to lack of evidence.

Eight months later, he was part of teams at MIT, the University of Houston, and other research centers. cubic boron arsenide It has better thermal and electrical conductivity than silicon.

The material is also reported to be superior to silicon in conducting both electrons and their positively charged counterparts, ‘electron holes’. This is a known weakness of silicon that limits the speed of silicon-based semiconductors.

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In a press release, Chain said the new material was a potential “game changer” because it was found to conduct heat 10 times better than silicon.

According to Chen and team, they are now looking to the material as a viable alternative to silicon in next-generation electronic products. However, they noted that further research and testing is needed to purify the material and establish long-term stability.

Researchers also said they would need special equipment to study its properties further.

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This discovery is important for the United States, Increase technological competitiveness against China. Last month, both houses of the US Congress passed the “Chip and Science Bill.” This is her $280 billion bill aimed at allowing the US to compete with China in domestic chip manufacturing.

Mr. Chen, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2000, was accused of failing to disclose his ties to Chinese agencies in a grant application to the Department of Energy. Before the charges against him were dismissed, he had the support of the scientific community, including more than 170 colleagues who had gathered behind him.

Scientists who criticized the arrest said such investigations could scare researchers, especially those from China, into emigrating to the United States, which could lead the United States to deny potentially important findings. explained.

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