Materials


Electronic Materials

Technical Applications

Summary

Electronic materials include various semiconductors whose electronic properties can be easily controlled.

Characteristics

Improved electronic materials are essential to the creation of the U.S. national information infrastructure, as well as to the creation of the intelligent vehicle-highway systems and the creation of "smart buildings." Several industry R&D partnerships are focused on electronics, including improvements in materials and uses.

ImpactEconomy

Improvements in electronic materials combined with improvements in manufacturing techniques support a variety of civilian and military applications ranging from medical imaging to signal processors for military systems. They are essential to the health of the U.S. electronics industry, as well as to a variety of other industries which now incorporate electronics in their products. Because of the military's increasing reliance on smarter platforms and weapons, and more timely information and communications, electronic materials are critical for a variety of defense and warfighting applications.

WorldView

Foreign firms are generally ahead of the United States in technology for electronic and photonic materials-- particularly in technology for producing silicon wafers for microelectronic devices.