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​Debbie Senesky: Developing electronics for the extremes of space

Stanford’s Russ Altman and Debbie Senesky discuss why silicon, the bedrock of terrestrial electronics, doesn't have the right stuff to help us explore hot spots like Venus.

planet Venus

What can survive the heat of Venus, where surface temperatures are enough to melt lead? | Photo by 3quarks

From his perch at Stanford, nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, Russ Altman wonders whether the silicon-based electronics of which we Earthlings are so proud have the right stuff to help us explore the extreme environments of space?

Not really, says Debbie Senesky. She works at the intersection of aerospace and electrical engineering to develop new semiconductor materials that can survive the heat of Venus, where the surface temperatures are enough to melt lead. Learn more about her research on the Future of Everything radio show.