Chapter 508: Forecast of Carbon-Based Chips
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Even though investing in materials research was a bottomless pit, it still depended on who one invested in.
After experiencing the success of the SG-1 wire, General Manager Sun made up his mind and decided to stick with the Jinling Institute for Advanced Study.
And for Lu Zhou, since General Manager Sun was willing to ask him, he was willing to teach General Manager Sun.
This might even help Chinese companies to establish their competitiveness in the global market.
Looking at it from a practical point of view, this was also profitable for him.
Just take the SG-1 material as an example. For every meter of SG-1 wire produced by the Baosheng Group, they would have to pay patent licensing costs to Lu Zhou. Even though this wasnt as rich of an income as what the lithium batteries had brought him, it was still a considerable amount.
Lu Zhou thought for a bit and said, I dont have much to say regarding the future direction of your company. However, since you guys already have an advantage in terms of carbon-based production, why dont you consider expanding it to your advantage?
When General Manager Sun heard Lu Zhou, he immediately took this seriously.
Oh? Professor Lu, do you have any insights that you want to share?
Not exactly an insight. Lu Zhou smiled and paused for a second. He then opened his mouth and said, I just heard that theres a research team at the University of California that used a very interesting method to successfully synthesize a one-nanometer width, 50-nanometer length graphene nanoribbon. So far, this research result has already attracted IBMs interest, and the industry is optimistic about it being used in the production of the next generation of carbon-based chips.
Everyone knew that 5 nanometers was the physical limit of silicon-based transistors. Once the transistor size was less than 5 nanometers, the behavior of the silicon electrons became unpredictable due to the laws of quantum uncertainty, which might even result in quantum tunneling effects. This could cause the electrons to teleport through the transistor walls. Therefore, silicon transistors were becoming less and less reliable, and the upgrade of computer chips was becoming more and more of a challenge.
In order to face this challenge, the industry and academic community had formed a consensus. They had to find a new material to replace the traditional silicon in order to produce smaller and better performing electronic devices.
And according to the latest research results, the technical routes that were considered feasible were carbon nanotubes, molybdenum disulfide, black phosphorus, graphene, and tungsten diselenide.
Because Lu Zhou was in carbon nanomaterials research, he obviously was more optimistic about the graphene route.
And the fact was that Lu Zhous intuition was correct. Under the conditions of the Mott insulator, the graphene had the potential to be applied as a semiconductor material in electronic devices.
When General Manager Sun heard Lu Zhous words, he had a headache.
Even though Baosheng Group had a fat bank account, investing in the big pit of computer chips still made him nervous.
Professor Lu Youre not suggesting us to invest in the big pit of computer chips, right?
Lu Zhou saw General Manager Suns distressed facial expression and smiled as he said, Youre not in the electronics industry, so its not realistic for you guys to develop computer chips. I just think that since weve already accomplished a few-thousand-nanometer wide graphene wire, why not try to accomplish a few nanometers wide graphene nanoribbon? I know these are two very different technologies, but I think we have the ability to do it.
Lu Zhou was actually being serious.
When he was chatting with Professor Bawendi on the plane, he already had this idea in his mind.
Of course, right now his research was still focused on controllable nuclear fusion.
Not to mention, even if he was interested in computer chip technology, the Jinling Institute for Advanced Study didnt have talents in this area.
Ill wait until the controllable nuclear fusion project finishes before diving into computer chips.
Im sure that by then, a lot of the problems will be solved.
General Manager Sun had a helpless expression on his face, and he shook his head.
A few nanometers wide graphene nanoribbon
But how much is it going to cost
The controllable nuclear fusion conference lasted for five days.
Lu Zhou had gained a lot over the five days.
Other than attending the interesting seminars, the advanced technologies presented by major research institutes also greatly enriched his outlook on the field.
Including Tri Alphas FRC machine, he had purchased at least US$40 million worth of equipment.
The FRC machine was only a little faster and slightly more stable than the microwave-heating machine. It wasnt a key technological component, but it was still useful.
Other than the non-key components such as the FRC, Lu Zhous list of purchases also included the He3 atom probe, which was considered a key component.
Speaking of the He3 atom probe, Professor Lazerson was doing well.
This former PPPL engineer had entered the industry as a technician and was now doing pretty well for himself in the plasma physics world.
With his networking skills from the time he was in academia, he knew better than anyone else exactly what kind of equipment the scholars needed. He helped to make the He3 atom probe technology even more powerful and strong.
At the closing conference dinner, when chatting with this old friend, Lu Zhou learned that his business was getting bigger and bigger. Not only was he working closely with more than 20 plasma research institutes, but he was one of the suppliers for the ITER project.
It wasnt just that. Now that the He3 atom probe technology was improved by him, the observation accuracy for high-density plasma had significantly improved.
Speaking of which, when the He3 company was first founded, Lu Zhou seemed to have invested a few million USD.
Therefore, he seemed to be one of the shareholders as well.
I am willing to bet this is definitely one of the most successful investments you will ever make. Professor Lazerson began to chat about the past, and he smiled and said, That few million dollars would be worth at least US$100 million. The future of controllable nuclear fusion technology is clear. I plan on going public on Nasdaq and wait for it to rain money.
Lu Zhou smiled and said, Really? I wish you good luck.
Surprised, Professor Lazerson looked at Lu Zhou as he asked, How come youre not excited at all?
Lu Zhou made a helpless expression as he said, When you have more money than you could ever spend, if someone tells you that youve made another hundred million, you wont react either. Thats how I feel about money, you must feel the same sometimes.
Even though Lu Zhous hundreds of millions in dollars was nothing compared to the billionaires on the Forbes Fortune list, the thing was that Lu Zhous money was all in cash, which was entirely different.
Not to mention, Lu Zhou didnt have a lot of expenses. Even though he spent quite a bit to establish the Jinling Institute for Advanced Study, not only did he make back his initial investment, but due to patent licensing fees, he had even made quite a profit.
Professor Lazerson looked straight at Lu Zhou for a while.
After a long time, he shook his head.
No, I dont feel the same at all.
After the conference dinner ended, the group of people returned to their hotel rooms and began to pack their bags.
Their flight back to China was tomorrow morning. In order to not have to rush in the morning, they naturally had to pack their bags the night before.
Lu Zhou found Dian Cili and Fei Jingti in the hotel corridor and reminded them.
Tomorrow morning at 8 oclock, you guys will take the plane with Professor Li Changxia. Dont be late.
Fei Jingti: Okay, Professor Are you not going back with us?
Lu Zhou shook his head and smiled.
I still have some matters to take care of, you guys go back first.