A cooler way to protect silicon surfaces


By David L. Chandler – Silicon, the material of high-technology devices from computer chips to solar cells, requires a surface coating before use in these applications. The coating “passivates” the material, tying up loose atomic bonds to prevent oxidation that would ruin its electrical properties. But this passivation process consumes a lot of heat and energy, making it costly and limiting the kinds of materials that can be added to the devices.

Now a team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers has found a way to passivate silicon at room temperature, which could be a significant boon to solar cell production and other silicon-based technologies. more> http://tinyurl.com/acc9k7l

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