Loud and clear

POOR signals on satellite mobile phones could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a high-power gallium nitride transistor being built in a lab in Ithaca, New York. Lester Eastman, James Shealy and their colleagues at Cornell University say their transistor has 100 times the power of its nearest gallium arsenide rivals. Instead of using conventional doping to create free electrons, the team grew gallium aluminium nitride on top of gallium nitride, creating a strained bond between the two layers. A piezoelectric effect then causes free electrons to flood into the GaN layer, creating the high charge densities necessary for high power amplification. The team reported its findings at a meeting on semiconductors in St Louis, Missouri,
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