University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Science and Engineering researchers have invented a cheaper, safer, and simpler technology that will allow a “stubborn” group of metals and metal oxides to be made into thin films used in many electronics, computer components, and other applications.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS.

The researchers worked with the University of Minnesota’s Technology Commercialization Office to patent the technology and have already garnered interest from industry.

Many metals and their compounds must be made into thin films before they can be used in technological products like electronics, displays, fuel cells, or catalytic applications. “Stubborn” metals, however — which include elements like platinum, iridium, ruthenium, and tungsten, among others — are very difficult to convert into thin films because they require extremely high temperatures…

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