German Scientist Extracts Smart Phone Ingredient from Plants

By MoneyTimes

Sep 10, 2015 10:42 PM EDT

German scientists came up with a method to extract from plants an element used for smartphones. This element is called Germanium and it can be found in plants that serve as a semi-conductor. It was used to create the first transistor since it can transport electrical charges very fast. Now, scientists from Germany found a way to extract it from plants.

According to BusinessSpectator, the semi-conducting silicon chip paved the way to the 21st century electronics and computerization revolution. Silicon integrated circuits (IC) is one of the most important things in today's interconnected, digital world. It controls the systems and lets people access and share information whenever they want. Modern ICs work through complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) which uses transistors that uses electrons and other electron hole. However, electron hole is not very mobile in silicon, which affects its performance. This is why, for several years, manufacturers boost modern IC speed using silicon-germanium.

Today, silicon-germanium is essential to modern living as it is used for computers, fiber-optic cables, and smartphones. Germanium is also used in intelligent technology such as parking sensors and steering systems. 

According to Reuters, scientists from Freiburg University of Mining and Technology developed a revolutionary way to extract this germanium from their own soil, with minimum help from the natural world.

Biology professor Hermann Heilmeier said, "What is being cultivated in this field are various energy crops -- for example sunflowers, corn, reed canary grass - but instead of using them for energy purposes we want to use them for phytomining. In German we call it 'mining with plants'. We want to bring elements that are present in the soil into the roots and shoots of the plants, harvest them and then extract these elements from the plants after they have been used for energy, that is to say fermented."

Germanium is found in soil all over the globe, but it is difficult to extract. China is currently one of the biggest suppliers of this element.

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics