A Chinese MIT professor is among those credited with discovering what’s described as the “best semiconductor material ever found,” eight months after the Department of Justice cleared him of espionage charges.
Fortune reports that Gang Chen is among the team at MIT, the University of Houston and other research centers to find that cubic boron arsenide is better than silicon at conducting heat and electricity.
Chen and his co-authors say the material is a strong candidate for the next generation of electronics, according to The Star.
The researchers caution more research must be conducted to test its long-term stabilty and to purify it.
In 2020 federal agents detained Chen at Logan International Airport in Boston and the following year raided his home and arrested him for failing to disclose financial ties to China.
After authorities acknowledged they dropped the charges in the “interest of justice,” the drama took its toll on Chen.
“While I am relieved that my ordeal is over, I am mindful that this terribly misguided China Initiative continues to bring unwarranted fear to the academic community, and other scientists still face charges,” he said to the Technology Review.
Through it all, Chen maintained its innocence and MIT backed him in the fight against prosecution.
The University paid for his defense and maintained his funding was for the university and not for him personally.
“Today’s dismissal of the criminal charges against Gang Chen is a result of our continued investigation,” US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Rachael Rollins said in a statement after the filing of the dismissal. “Through that effort, we recently obtained additional information pertaining to the materiality of Professor Chen’s alleged omissions in the context of the grant review process at issue in this case. After a careful assessment of this new information in the context of all the evidence, our office has concluded that we can no longer meet our burden of proof at trial.”
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