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October 20, 2014

Sustainable chemistry center works to transform electronics manufacturing

Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry focuses on making computer chip manufacturing cleaner, faster and cheaper

The changes brewing in this lab could make that smartphone you carry smarter, lighter and more sustainable. It's one of many devices getting an electronic makeover at the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry (CSMC).

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), center Director Doug Keszler and his team in the College of Science at Oregon State University are developing the next generation of electronic circuits, starting with the basic computer chip. In the manufacturing process, they want to replace bulky carbon compounds with metal oxides in order to put more transistors onto a chip. The new process would be cleaner, faster and cheaper.

The CSMC is one of the NSF-funded Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI), which are focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. CCIs are producing transformative research that is leading to innovation and attracting broad scientific and public interest.

The CSMC's specific focus is to conduct curiosity-driven and use-inspired research to enhance the sustainable chemistry toolbox with new methods and new techniques that will advance the scientific enterprise and transform the next generation of products, while preparing students to become the next generation of green chemists. Collaborative research in materials chemistry is conducted across six academic institutions--Oregon State University (headquarters), University of Oregon, Washington University at St. Louis, Rutgers University, University of California, Davis, and University of California, Berkeley.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1102637, Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry.

Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent
Ann Kellan, Science Nation Producer

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.