Nano-scale electrical relay for lighter electronics

Nano-scale electrical relay for lighter electronics

A KTH research group has developed a nano-scale electromechanical relay that could be used to reduce the weight of electronics in electric cars or even aircraft.

The new technology, which can be used for memory circuits and processors in electric cars and aircraft, can withstand temperatures as high as 200C without loss of performance, eliminating the need for cooling elements that dissipate heat but add unwanted weight.

The work was reported in Nature Communications.

Relays are basically switches. In the nanoelectromechanical (NEM) relay, they act like a transistor in a computer: they are turned on by applying voltage and then they create the binaries that communicate Boolean logic.

Simon Bleiker, researcher at the department Micro and Nanosystems at KTH, says the team is taking the next steps toward developing the relays for electric vehicles. “We are working on scaling up the technology from a few relays to 1,000 or 10,000 that are integrated with each other,” he says.

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Source: “Lighter electric cars and aircraft possible with nano-scale electrical relay”, KTH Royal Institute of Technology