By TJ Triolo | Arizona State University
Factories floating in space sound like science fiction, but they may not be far off in the future. Ying-Chen “Daphne” Chen, an assistant professor of electrical engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, is working as a co-primary investigator on NASA research with academic and industry collaborators to build a blueprint for building semiconductor devices in space.
Manufacturing microelectronics in space has the potential to eliminate key lengthy and costly steps in the semiconductor manufacturing process, specifically for 3D oxide-based resistive random-access memory, or RRAM, devices used on Earth. These 3D devices differ from traditional 2D RRAM devices by stacking layers of memory storage cells vertically instead of a traditional flat arrangement, allowing for a smaller footprint and more memory storage in a single device.
“Such experiments can help unlock more opportunities to build things that may be difficult to build on Earth.” -Shruti Gurudanti, space law director at Rose Law Group.