Griffith University's Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre has been awarded $1 million in research funding by the State government to develop production processes for a silicon carbide microchip.
Lead researcher of the Semiconductor Microfabrication Program, Professor Sima Dimitrijev, said silicon microchips are the foundation of our electronic age, and these new silicon carbide microchips could revolutionise the way we live.
"The superior properties of silicon carbide enable smaller, more efficient, sensitive and robust devices that able to operate in harsh chemical and temperature environments," said Professor Dimitrijev.
The silicon carbide microchips have potential for a broad range of applications. Just one example of how this technology might be harnessed is in cheaper and better quality lighting which would be not only kinder to household budgets but also the environment.
Operations Director of Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre, Alan Iacopi, said there is a potentially enormous global market.
"This Griffith University breakthrough has far reaching implications in terms of engaging with major international industry and bringing frontier technologies to Queensland," Mr Iacopi said.
The potential of the new platform technology has resulted in a joint development agreement with a major global semiconductor equipment manufacturer, SPTS Technologies, which will develop the thermal process and equipment expertise necessary to commercialise the technology.
"Our industry partner, SPTS will help us take the next critical step of making our SiC production processes ready for industry to adopt," Mr Iacopi said.
Ultimately, this will permit the exploration of new market opportunities with the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers. The funding boost will also open up opportunities for research students and enable three new research fellows to be appointed.
The Semiconductor Microfabrication Program is just one of three Griffith University projects to be awarded a total of $3 million under the Queensland Government's science funding scheme.