#FreetheScience for a more connected world
While communications have changed dramatically in the past 50 years, electrochemists and solid state scientists have driven innovation in this field from the beginning. Their invention of silicon chips and transistors first enabled the communications devices we rely on today: neither personal computers nor cell phones would be possible without them.
Researchers, like past ECS president N. Bruce Hannay, were integral to the development of the advanced communication we utilize today. Before his contributions to microelectronics that project the transistor forward, our cellphone and other electronic devices were large, lacked efficiency, and not affordable for many people.
Consider the smartphone. In addition to creating the silicon processor, a solid state scientist discovered which conductor would best allow current to flow through the phone; others developed the sensor technology used in the phone’s camera, GPS, touch screen, display, and sound systems; electrochemists invented the compact battery powering the phone and developed the corrosion-resistant materials to protect the phone from degradation.
In fact, nearly every aspect of the smartphone can be traced back to solid state or electrochemical research.
Today, this research continues to inform communications improvements. Electrochemists and solid state scientists are exploring new materials like graphene, more efficient batteries, and advanced sensors to make next-generation communication devices available to underserved populations and do even more with less energy.