Scientists Present New Materials for Technology

Scientists from 26 countries will gather at Wake Forest University July 15-19 to present their latest findings on diamond and other materials that will replace silicon and other semiconductors in everything from computer chips and fiber optics to lasers and medical scanners.

The 13th International Conference on Defects in Insulating Materials, last held in the United States in 1984, will spotlight the advances made in adding mineral impurities, or “defects,” to make such insulators as diamond into powerful semiconductors and lasers.

Wake Forest physicist Richard Williams said that developing better materials than silicon and other semiconductors means faster and more powerful computers, more storage on CDs, longer-range phone communications and more sensitivity in medical imaging.

“In order to move beyond infrared lasers to blue, with five times the storage capacity and far greater speeds, we need to move to materials based on insulators,” said Williams, co- chair of the conference with Wake Forest colleague Eric Matthews, professor of physics.

The conference’s sponsors are Wake Forest, the National Science Foundation, the International Science Foundation, Hughes Research Laboratories, AMP Inc. and Newport Co.

Categories: Events, International