A University of Chicago research team has created a new solder for semiconductors. After being heated to several hundred degrees Celsius, the compounds of cadmium, lead, and bismuth can be applied as a liquid or paste to join two pieces of a semiconductor.

The liquid converts cleanly into a material that is compositionally matched to the bonded parts. After application as a liquid or paste, the molecules decompose to form a seamless joint.

The soldering technique enables 3D printing of semiconductors. Inexpensive semiconductors will improve technologies like solar cells, sensors, and flat image displays.