Semiconductors designed to deliver extreme capabilities

Student examines sample in Chu's lab

By Jamie Oberdick

Your cellphone probably would not work very well in space. That is because outer space is full of radiation, and radiation causes defects in electronics that can eventually lead to device failure. You and your cellphone are likely not going to be in outer space anytime soon, but if you are an astronaut relying on electronics to get you to and from space without incident, Rongming Chu’s research may one day be key in keeping you safe.

Packaging is a huge part of the semiconductor puzzle, and Penn State has answers

chip packaging

The big news around semiconductors, the factor that drove the CHIPS for America Act, was and is the supply chain. Many in the media focused on the shortages and disruption in the chips supply chain that was caused by the pandemic, and in turn, created big increases in the price of things like automobiles. But there is also another big deal happening with semiconductors that does not get as much attention – packaging.

Growing tomorrow’s semiconductor chips in the materials garden

terrones holds a sampl

In some ways, Mauricio Terrones is a gardener. An Evan Pugh University Professor and The Penn State Verne M. Willaman Professor of Physics, Terrones does not grow flowers or vegetables, but instead, one- or few-atom-thick two-dimensional (2D) materials. Specifically, creating materials with specific properties. The first 2D material ever created was graphene, and Terrones was a pioneer in developing 2D materials beyond graphene such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and Tungsten disulfide (WS2). These are layered 2D materials, monolayered, bi-layered, tri-layered or more.

Potential university partners share their vision of a regional semiconductor hub


By Jamie Oberdick

As outlined in the CHIPS and Science Act, regional hubs would play a key role in an American semiconductor future.

Part of what will help make the CHIPS and Science Act a success is the concept of regional hubs, where partnerships among industry, government, and universities like Penn State will thrive. Penn State brings a lot of semiconductor expertise to the table, but what about potential university partners in the region? What would a joint university partnership look like?

Penn State’s Role in Setting a Course for America’s Semiconductor Future

Penn State's role

By Jamie Oberdick

Semiconductors are a big reason as to why you are reading this. This is not a reference to your interest in semiconductors as a subject, but the actual production of this website. Even if you are reading the print version of this article and not the online version, semiconductors played a role in creating that hard copy via word processing, graphic design, digital photography, and even the printer that printed the pages. Such is the ubiquitousness of semiconductor chips in our current society.

Town hall on CHIPS and Science Act envisions key role for Penn State

presenters speak to a roomful of people

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State held a Town Hall meeting recently to discuss internal strategies around semiconductor technologies and taking on a key role in partnering with other universities and industries centered on the U.S. government’s CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) and Science Act, which was signed into law on Aug. 9, 2022.

Two-dimensional oxides open door for high-speed electronics

Student works on 2D material in lab

By Matthew Carroll

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Advances in computing power over the decades have come thanks in part to our ability to make smaller and smaller transistors, a building block of electronic devices, but we are nearing the limit of the silicon materials typically used. A new technique for creating 2D oxide materials may pave the way for future high-speed electronics, according to an international team of scientists.