Electronic Components

Nuclear waste batteries

The world is edging more and more towards sustainable energy sources, including the potential return of nuclear energy. However, with any future source of power we also have to consider any waste output that these would generate.

So how great would it be to create sustainable, long-lasting energy sources from the waste of another energy source? That’s what experts are hoping to do with nuclear waste.

Waste not want not

One of the main issues with using nuclear energy is the large amounts of radioactive waste that are generated. Compared to other kinds of waste, radioactive is much worse for people’s health and the environment, and harder to contain.

Radioactive diamond batteries use the decay of radioactive waste to generate energy. The betavoltaic device is powered by nuclear waste’s beta decay, and was first developed in 2016. The idea was embraced as game-changing.

Beta decay

Beta decay is when an atom’s nucleus releases excess particles to even out the number of protons to neutrons. The process produces beta radiation, which is lots of electrons zinging around and creating energy.

The batteries are made via chemical vapour deposition, which produces polycrystalline diamond. Using a concoction of hydrogen and methane plasma, the diamond films are grown at a very high temperature. The process has been modified to grow Carbon-14, found on irradiated reactor graphite blocks.

When this material is used in batteries, even in tiny amounts, you get a self-charging long-lasting power source.

Not quite unlimited power

A concern with the batteries is that beta radiation is not the most efficient energy generator. Beta particles zing about in all directions, so it’s not guaranteed they will actually hit the semiconductor. Of those that hit it, only some of them will actually convert into electricity. This makes nuclear energy batteries, on average, not the most effective of choices.

The batteries are very low power, providing only a few microwatts. As such, the applications of the battery so far are limited. But there are certain things it can already do, like power pacemakers or small sensors.

A different kind of source

Even though betavoltaic batteries are still in their infancy, Lantek is an established and capable partner. We stock and source any electronic parts you need, all you need to do is get in touch. Call us today on 1-973-579-8100 or contact us at to see how easy sourcing can be.


US solar industry stalled by goods restrictions

US solar panel installations are expected to decline by almost a quarter due to several restrictions being put in place. Among these, there is a new import ban on products from China’s Xinjiang region, and restrictions on products from companies found to be dodging tariffs.

Some companies were found to be avoiding tariffs by finishing their products in Southeast Asian countries. This led to a ban on importing products from these companies, which was later waived by Biden. Other companies, working in a controversial region of China, were also restricted by the US.

More than 1000 solar energy import shipments have stalled at US ports since new legislation came into effect in June.

The law

The legislation came in just months before the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was also signed into law. This Act encourages the use of clean energy technologies against the effects of climate change. Many domestic solar companies hope to benefit from the Act, which allocates almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy.

However, since the restrictions have been announced there’s expected to be delays until late 2023.

Currently, the largest markets for solar technology are utilities and other commercial customers. The residential market is expected to increase by 37%.

Although the restrictions will impede the growth of domestic solar project developers, there are certain reliefs. Only some of the solar panel manufacturers from China have been restricted, so other imports are still available.

Further developments

More recently, though, China has also suggested they would ban the export of its solar panel technology. China controls about 75% of the solar panel industry right now. Even with the current restrictions, this move could have a huge impact on the US.

More than anything, policy-makers and manufacturers in the US are concerned about the time it would take to catch up. The solar industry has been so reliant on Chinese suppliers over the years, it won’t be easy to wean off.

The Biden administration did put a 2-year waiver in place to delay some of the restrictions coming in, but this will not go all the way to avoid delays. Building a single factory to make a material like polysilicon would take a few years. Recreating the entire supply chain could take 4 times as long.

Choose reliability

Whether you’re looking for solar panel components or any other electronic parts, choose Lantek. We have a dedicated sales team on hand to find all of the components you want. Call us today on 1-973-579-8100 or email us at We’ll be waiting!

Electronic Components Supply Chain Technology

New US India semiconductor partnership

The US recently formed a partnership with India with an aim to cooperate in several industries, including semiconductor production. This is
hoped to be a very fruitful partnership, especially since the increase in restrictions between China and the US.

Recent changes

More companies have been investing in India in recent years, including Vedanta-Foxconn, PSMC and Micron Technology. Partly thanks to new government incentive schemes, companies are trying to move manufacturing into the country. More are expected to follow as India increases its funding for semiconductor manufacturing.

The Indian Government and related parties have announced several incentives for incoming companies. One of the largest was that there would be a 50% waiver on the cost of establishing a fab.  

The US and Indian Semiconductor Associations (SIA and IESA respectively) have also formed a taskforce to strengthen collaboration. The taskforce plans to assess the country’s readiness to sustain a semiconductor market and make recommendations to increase its presence in the
supply chain.

But it hasn’t been easy. Many incoming companies have mentioned difficulties with a lack of infrastructure, difficult regulations, and other struggles.

The competition

India could also potentially help in the sourcing of minerals for semiconductor production. Currently much of the world’s supply (72%)
comes from China, which could prove troublesome soon enough. 

However, India is apparently abundant in 49 critical and non-fuel minerals that are used in the industry according to a report by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Work away


Another potential benefit to the States is the new ‘friend-shoring’ location it has unlocked. While the Chips Act attempts to move much of the
process to domestic, this won’t be entirely achievable.

The high cost of labor and the lack of highly-skilled employees within the field will prove challenging. In a collaboration with India, however, it would provide a manufacturing location with manageable labor costs. It could also pave the way for highly-skilled professionals from India
to work in the US.

There are hopes that this collaboration is the next big milestone for the countries since the 2016 nuclear power agreement.

A different kind of partnership

We have a steadfast relationship with all of our customers, thanks to the trust and reliability we are known for. Lantek Corporation can fulfil
all your electronic part needs, all you need to do is contact us. We’re available at or call us on 1-973-579-8100.

component shortage Electronic Components Semiconductor

US China Sanctions

New rules

Following the introduction of strict export controls in 2022, China and the US may both struggle to operate normally. The sanctions, introduced by the Biden administration on October 7 2022, prevents US businesses selling products or services to Chinese semiconductor manufacturers.

The export controls stop the sales of new semiconductor technology to China. It also stops the sale of chipmaking equipment and the migration of highly skilled staff to operate them.

After the sanctions were introduced in October last year, many semiconductor companies lost a combined total of around $240 billion of stock value almost overnight.

China uses around 75% of the global supply, while they only produce 15% the world’s chips.

What effect they will have on China

The issue may arise since China’s equipment manufacturing is a few years behind the US. This means there will be a lack of replacements for the equipment they currently purchase from America. The new restrictions could encourage Chinese chipmakers to use older technologies to try and reproduce new tech.

Other Asian countries with large chip manufacturers may also be affected by the sanctions, including Taiwan and Korea.

Tech self-sufficiency has been a goal of China for quite a while, emphasised again last year by Xi Jinping. But these sanctions may put strain on until that goal is achieved. The country is, however, boosting investment in chips according to a source.

According to the source, who spoke to Reuters, said China would invest around $143 billion

What effect they will have on the US

The sanctions won’t stop the US semiconductor market from growing, but experts say it’ll definitely slow progress.

The Chips and Science Act, passed into law around the same time as the sanctions, details several incentives for domestic chip manufacturers. The Act details $280 billion in spending over ten years in various areas, including in R&D and manufacturing.

The US may also be putting themselves in a precarious position, since China could easily restrict exports of other materials. Many of the rare earth metals used in semiconductors or in their manufacture are sourced from China. The country has the largest percentage share of rare earth metals, with 37.9% of the world’s supply from there. The US, in contrast, has 1.3%.

With investments on both sides, it is going to be an interesting landscape to watch change in the coming years.

The most effective decision

Lantek’s global network of contacts and extensive stocklist means we can provide a huge range of electronic parts for you. We’re the obvious choice for all electronic components, so call us today on 1-973-579-8100, or contact us at


Electronic Components

Semiconductor Industry Sustainability

Sustainability and making the industry more environmentally friendly has been a goal for a long time. There is even more urgency for this as production increased to deal with the shortages.

The electronics industry has spent most of the last three years battling with component shortages and supply chain chaos. However, as supply chains and shortages begin to come under control, another issue takes precedence.

Following COP27 and the Smart and Green Manufacturing Summit during SEMICON Europa in November of last year, certain sustainability goals and factors have been highlighted.

The source

There are several areas of the industry that are responsible for releasing greenhouse gases, including:

Emissions from fabs: greenhouse gases are released during processes like wafer etching and chamber cleaning. On a wider scale, the energy use to power equipment in fabs also causes greenhouse emissions.

Transport and storage: The vehicles and vessels used to transport goods can emit gases that can also be harmful. As demand increases, shipments also increase and the need to find an environmentally friendly method of transportation.

Downstream emissions: The emissions from other manufacturing processes and end-users further adds to the impact of the industry.

The Paris Agreement

There has been a call to introduce more incentives for electronics manufacturers to focus on sustainability.

After the Paris Agreement was implemented at COP21 in 2015, every industry was obliged to prioritise sustainability. The agreement aims to limit global warming to below 2⁰C compared to pre-industrial levels.

Some big players in the industry have already made sustainability pledges, including Intel and Samsung.

Between now and 2030, the CAGR has been forecast at 8%, putting the industry at $1.3 trillion in annual revenue. If the industry will grow that much there is a chance that the greenhouse gas emissions would quadruple. As such, there is more need than ever to reach sustainability targets.

Recent research has estimated the electronics industry counts for about 4% of global greenhouse gas production.

Part of the problem, part of the solution

The semiconductor industry is essential to the development of renewable power sources and other technology to battle climate change. But the components going into this sustainable tech may not be made sustainably, exacerbating the issue. As such, improving the sustainability of the sector could make a huge difference to the state of the planet.

Part of the Paris Agreement was to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2030. Imec predicted that, unless the sector starts actively reducing emissions, the part played by the industry in global warming will increase. As other sectors attempt to lower their impact, the semiconductor industry will get left behind.

Imec are currently planning to release a platform, Imec.netzero, to estimate energy, water and mineral usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Following the results presented in 2020, many manufacturers and suppliers became interested in the project, including Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.

That, and other initiatives to improve sustainability, will hopefully put the industry in better stead going forward.

Doing our part

We at Lantek know how important sustainability is. Our efforts to source electronic parts for our customers means there is less waste, and less need for newly manufactured parts. Our dedicated sales team is always here to find the parts you’re looking for, at the best possible price. Contact us today at or call us on 1-973-579-8100.

Electronic Components

Chips Act prompts investment in the industry

Since the introduction of the CHIPS Act in early 2020, the US has seen an increase in private investment.

Companies in the semiconductor industry have announced a large quantity of projects to increase the manufacturing capacity across the states. Some of these projects were even underway before the Act was put into law, relying on the eventual introduction of the Act and the accompanying funding.

The varied projects include ones to build, expand or upgrade fabs specialising in different areas. There are also plans for new semiconductor equipment facilities and factories to produce materials for semiconductors.

Thanks to this early action, some projects could be finished as early as 2024. Others, announced after the implementation of the CHIPS Act, will begin construction this year.

What happens next

There are plans for at least 23 new fabs, and 9 expansions to existing facilities. This, in turn, has encouraged investment in equipment and material facilities. Altogether, both fabs and all the surrounding investment, is estimated to come to almost $200 billion.

Alongside the vast amount of investment to be spent on the industry, it could also create around 40,000 jobs. According to a 2021 study, this number of jobs could have a much bigger impact. For every direct employee of the semiconductor industry, an additional 5.7 jobs are supported in the wider economy.

Show me the money

The CHIPS Act provides $280 billion in funding over the next 10 years. Most of this is for scientific R&D and commercialization.

$2 billion of funding will be allocated the Department of Defense, funding research, fabrication and training. Another $500 million will go to the Department of State to work with foreign government partners on supply chain security.

For the last few years the risks of sourcing chips from overseas have been shown in all their glory. Compared to the 37% of global semiconductors made in the US in the 90s, only 12% are made here now. The CHIPS Act was introduced to reduce the reliance on other countries, and boost commerce and employment domestically.

Despite this, some experts say that the CHIPS Act may not be able to cover the costs it intends to. GS Research said due to the higher production costs in the US vs Taiwan, the funding may not cover it. Although they expect the Act will increase production, they do not believe it will make a difference of more than 1% to the US share of global chip capacity.

No matter the cost

There is a lot of uncertainty in the electronics market right now, but you can rely on Lantek. We have a team of experts who can help you source any parts you’re looking for. With our years of experience we are always one step ahead of our competition. We can’t wait to show you what we can do for you, contact us today on 1-973-579-8100 or at

Electronic Components

The inner workings of a flexible screen

Flexible screens that the consumer can fold or roll were once a complex novelty. Now, they are becoming increasingly more commonplace.

More and more phones and electronic devices are offering flexible screens. Only recently were the newest Samsung Galaxy phones released with folding screens. Oppo, LG and other providers are also beginning to offer flexible screens for their devices.

The first phones with curved displays were produced in 2014 when plastic joined glass as a screen substrate option. The flexible plastic could be bent without breaking, and was much more durable than a thin fragile sheet of glass.

Any kind of screen needs to be durable, but the necessity is increased when flexibility and folding is considered. The other layers of the device have to be just as flexible and durable, which is a factor that has led to a much longer development time.

I don’t believe my eyes!

OLED is currently the display of choice on flexible screens, often being chosen over the LCD alternative. Unlike the backlit LCD screen, the pixels themselves are what emit light in OLED. Thanks to this OLED screens can be much thinner and lighter.

Aside from the cover layer, the glass or plastic layer we interact with, and the OLED, there are two other layers in a flexible touchscreen device:

The substrate layer, which is the bottom layer of the screen, supports the layers that follow. This is usually made of plastic or metal. The most common substrate used for flexible devices is polymide, which has a high mechanical strength and thermal stability. This is also usually used for the cover layer as well.

Powered pixels

The thin film transistor (TFT) layer is between the substrate and the OLED layer. It controls the power delivery to each pixel individually, allowing for high contrast rates and lower power consumption.

Within the TFT layer itself there are also several components that go into its construction. The first layer is glass, metals and polymers and is only microns thick.

Next, there is a gate electrode made of aluminium, gold or chromium. The gate electrode provides a signal to the TFT which begins the contact between the source and drain.

The third layer, an insulator, is used to stop electrical shorting in between the two layers. After that there is another electrode layer and is deposited over the semiconducting surfaces.

Welcome to the fold

As a specialist in day-to-day and obsolete electronic components, Lantek can help you source the components you’re looking for. With an extensive stocklist and a dedicated team of account managers, we can guarantee to go above and beyond our competitors. Contact Lantek today to see what we can do for you on or call 1-973-579-8100

Electronic Components

Is it possible to make compostable PCBs?

Decades ago we wouldn’t have thought it possible to create printed circuit boards (PCBs). Now, in 2023, we’re discussing the possibility of biodegradable ones.

A research group from the Johannes Kepler University in Austria developed the biodegradable base for the PCBs. The mix consists of beech wood shavings, organise full-grain spelt flour, fine plaster (CaSO4) dust and beech wood-based inoculum.

After storing the mixture in a flat plastic box in a cupboard for a few weeks a tissue grew. The fungal fibres, called mycelium, formed a kind of soft white skin, similar to paper.

A layer of copper or gold is then vapour-deposited onto the mycelium ‘skin’. Then, a laser will cut away the metal where it’s not needed.

A ‘grow-your-own’ circuit

Storing something in a cupboard for a few weeks has significantly lower production costs than regular PCBs. It also bypasses the need for chemicals and minerals that are hazardous to the environment.

With the use of these, too, there is no need to create specialist manufacturing equipment, unlike with biopolymers. They are made from renewable raw materials like starch or milk protein, but have to use an industrial composting plant that operates at a high temperature.

These ‘skins’ can then be mounted with electronic components like a regular PCB.

The mycelium has a very strong structural integrity, while it remains thin and flexible. It has so far been able to withstand about 2,000 bending cycles, it only shows moderate resistance when folded, can insulate electrical currents and can sustain temperatures that reach 250⁰C.

Early days

So far the concept can only be used in simple electronic devices. A multi-layer circuit or more complex electronics are slightly further in the future. Even at this early development stage, though, a prototype has already been attached to a moisture sensor, a Bluetooth chip that sends the sensor signal to a laptop or smartphone, and a special battery.

In the future it is hoped that production of a smoother mycelial skin through a refined formula could increase the possibilities. It could lead to multi-layer PCBs with smaller components.

Once the circuit has been used, it can be unsoldered and put in the compost. The metal used I the conductor paths will be a biproduct left in the soil, but will be nano-particles in unharmful quantities.

Looking for a fun-guy?

Whether you’re ‘growing’ or manufacturing your PCBs, Lantek has the electronic components for you. We specialize in obsolete, hard-to-find, and day-to-day electronic components, and can source components from trusted sources globally. Contact us today to see what Lantek can do for you on, or call 1-973-579-8100

Electronic Components

Improvements to smart materials in the works

A team of scientists and engineers has developed a new way of producing thin film perovskite semiconductors.

This ‘smart material’ can adapt depending on stimuli like light, magnetic fields or electric fields.

This could lead to the material being combined with other nano-scale materials to produce sensors, smart textiles and flexible electronics.

Thin films are usually made via epitaxy: atoms are placed on a substrate one layer at a time.

However, with this method the films stay attached to the host substrate and are less easily utilised. If it can be separated from the substrate it is much more useful.

The team, based at the University of Minnesota, has found a way to create a strontium titanate membrane without several of the usual freestanding membrane issues.

Making freestanding ‘smart’ oxide material membranes comes with certain challenges. Unlike 2D substances like graphene, smart oxide materials are bonded in 3 dimensions.

The method

One way to make them is using remote epitaxy. Graphene is used as an intermediary between the substrate and the membrane. This allows the thin film material to be peeled off the substrate. One issue with this is when using the technique with metal oxides the graphene becomes oxidised and ruins the sample.

A new technique pioneered by the University of Minnesota is hybrid molecular beam epitaxy. This stops the oxidation process by using titanium that is already bonded to oxygen. The team has also been able to introduce automatic stoichiometric control, which no one else has been able to do.

The hope is in future to combine these thin film membranes to create more advanced smart materials. There are certain products already using thin films like gallium-oxide. Other alternatives to thin film include carbon nanotubes, which can be used in layers of only 0.06nm thickness.

A ‘smart’ choice

Lantek can provide a huge range of specialist, day-to-day, and hard to find electronic components. We work with our customers to make sure we find what they need and deliver in the quickest time possible.

Contact Lantek for all your electronic component needs. Call us at 1-973-579-8100 or email us at

component shortage Covid-19 Electronic Components Supply Chain

Lantek 2022- a year in review

As 2022 comes to an end, we at Lantek are reflecting on the many ups and downs of the year and the great things that will be happening in 2023. 

This year was yet another year of challenges for finding product and then the even bigger challenge to find stock at pricing that customers can afford. Lantek was able to work with many companies this year to help avoid lines down situations. The years of experience from all of our staff
played a major role in that.


This past November we were able to meet up with long time and even some new customers at Electronica in Munich. Some conversations were
had about the market and where everyone sees it going but more importantly, it was a chance to just sit and talk face to face with people we haven’t seen since 2018!

Frank Cervino, our GM, said this: “After so many years, catching up with customers and suppliers during these uncertain market
conditions was very beneficial. It was also a pleasure to spend time with the Cyclops Group and be present on the stand.”


As our year ends on December 22, we will be having a Christmas lunch brought in for us all to enjoy.

In January, Lantek will be marking its 29th year in business and what a way to celebrate but with our new office and warehouse

We are hoping to be able to start moving product by mid-February.

We will take volunteers to help with that! (If any of you have ever been to NJ in the winter, you will appreciate the challenge this will be)

See you next year!

In closing we would like to wish all of you a very happy holiday season and may your 2023 be a prosperous and positive one!

We will be back in the office on January 3, 2023 for any and all of your electronic component needs. Please contact us at 973.579.8100 or at