Skip to Content

Institute for Extreme Semiconductor Chips

  • A researcher looking at a computer and notebook in a white lab coat.

Research Step 2: Semiconductor Chip Design and Fabrication

This research step starts with designing the extreme chips which are then fabricated and tested to verify their operation in extreme environments. The result is the production of novel, next-generation electronic and optical chips.

Designing and Testing the Chips

Once the synthesized materials have been grown and proven to withstand extreme environments, this research step takes these materials and puts them into semiconductor chip designs. Using these extreme materials, several novel electronic devices will be developed to meet the high-power, high temperature needs of the chip application systems.

These novel devices will be tested to characterize a variety of parameters: current-voltage (I-V) and Capacitance- voltage (C-V) parameters, high-frequency performance, high-power switching properties, breakdown voltages and others. We will also test various light-emitting—or optoelectronic—devices.

Project Significance

  • Using the synthesized extreme materials in chip designs allows for the fabrication of semiconductor components that can perform in extreme conditions.

  • By characterizing multiple different chip designs and fabrications, the best designs can be identified and used to create six key device types.

Research Innovation 

In order to meet the extreme conditions where these chips need to operate, new device structures will be developed that can operate in high-power, high temperature situations.

Extreme bandgap light sources and detectors will be used to test the optoelectronic devices. 

Research Aims

  1. Use the extreme materials in several different chip designs to fabricate possible semiconductor components 

  2. Characterize the chip designs and fabrications to develop six key device types

Purpose: To put the synthesized materials into chip fabrications that can withstand extreme environments 

Hypothesis: Main device elements include source, gate and drain contacts and dielectric layers that will prevent leakage currents and premature breakdown.

Goal: Semiconductor design and fabrication that perform well under extreme condition testing

Vision: Creation of six different key device types to be used in chip packaging and circuits

New device structures: Vertical conduction devices and devices with buried nanostructures, among others

SC Impact

The extreme semiconductors developed by our research team will lead to unprecedented energy performance and efficiency across South Carolina. While this is a state-wide research focus, certain areas of public interest will benefit greatly from this institute's work. 

Leadership in Innovative Technology

Our work and research puts South Carolina on the map in innumerable areas of rapidly advancing technology. Our state will receive new opportunities and recognition by having this world-changing technology right here at the university. 

Economic Development and Engagement

A stronger reputation for technology and innovation will draw and retain more top talent in South Carolina, creating more opportunities in multiple fields throughout the state.

Public Health Advancements

We are changing the future of public health technology with extreme semiconductor chips to support medical devices and products that create a better standard of care across the state, the nation and the world—and it all starts here in South Carolina.

Notable Awards, Outcomes, and Practical Uses for this Research 

  • Comfortable Medical Wearables: With novel packaging, the extreme chips can be integrated with wearable biometric platforms, where sensor flexibility is a key requirement for participant comfort.
  • Heat-Tolerant Power Electronics: By using integrated circuits that can deal with heat and electromagnetic interference, power electronics can withstand higher temperatures.
  • Optical Electronics: The integration of different type of chips together will allow for extreme semiconductor chip use in optical electronics.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.