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20 Feb 2023

The exhibition “Microelectrònica a l'espai: missió BepiColombo” is inaugurated at the CSIC Delegation in Catalonia

It is part of the series "Objectes de la Recerca", organized by the CSIC Delegation of Catalonia, in Barcelona, and a Schottky diode manufactured in the Clean Room of the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona can be seen there until April 14. 720 devices identical to this diode are incorporated into the solar panels of the BepiColombo space probe, which is currently traveling to the planet Mercury. The exhibition also includes an audiovisual capsule, a lecture and a contest.

Cartel Objectes de la Recerca Bepi Colombo


From today you can visit at the CSIC Delegation in Catalonia the fourth installment of 'Objectes de la Recerca' (Research Objects), an outreach activity that seeks to highlight, through successive exhibitions, exceptional objects that are part of the research carried out in CSIC centers.

In this case, the exhibition is entitled "Microelectrònica a l'espai: missió BepiColombo" ("Microelectronics in space: BepiColombo mission"), and revolves around the complicated and innovative development of the devices manufactured by the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM, CSIC) for this joint mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). The objective is to study the peculiarities of the planet Mercury, such as its magnetic field, its atmosphere and its geology.

The main object is a Schottky diode, developed at the IMB-CNM's Micro and Nanofabrication Clean Room and designed by the center's Power Devices and Systems (PDS) group. At present, 720 devices identical to the Schottky diode are incorporated in the solar panels of the BepiColombo probe. They are made of silicon carbide, an innovative semiconductor capable of withstanding the extreme conditions that the probe will encounter during its journey to Mercury, the planet it will reach in 2025.

The object will be accompanied by explanatory texts and related materials, as well as a video projection. Everything can be seen and visited at the CSIC Delegation in Catalonia (C/ Egipcíaques, 15) from February 16 to April 14 (Monday to Thursday from 7:30 to 18:45 and Friday from 7:30 to 16:45, except holidays).

Audiovisual capsule and talk

The video shown at the exhibition is narrated by researchers Miquel Vellvehi (IMB-CNM, CSIC) and Philippe Godignon (IMB-CNM, CSIC; now at CEA-Leti) and can also be viewed on the Delegation's YouTube channel. In addition, Vellvehi (IMB-CNM, CSIC) will give an inaugural talk on March 9 at 17:00 at the CSIC Delegation in Catalonia. The talk will be open to all audiences and is free access free access prior registration.

Twitter thread contest 'Objects of research'

For people who visit the exhibition, attend the talk or watch the audiovisual capsule of this object, the deadline to create an informative Twitter thread about the BepiColombo mission and the Schottky diode is open from today until April 16, with the chance to win a visit to the Institute of Microelectronics in Barcelona and a copy of Inspiraciencia's illustrated book "Entre la mano y la cabeza" (Between the hand and the head).

The complete contest rules can be found here.