ISLAMABAD-People love their electric cars. But not so much the bulky batteries and related power systems that take up precious cargo space. Help could be on the way from a gallium oxide-based transistor under development at the University at Buffalo. In a study published in the June edition of IEEE Electron Device Letters, electrical engineers describe how the tiny electronic switch can handle more than 8,000 volts, an impressive feat considering it’s about as thin as a sheet of paper. The transistor could lead to smaller and more efficient electronic systems that control and convert electric power — a field of study known as power electronics — in electric cars, locomotives and airplanes. In turn, this could help improve how far these vehicles can travel. “To really push these technologies into the future, we need next-generation electronic components that can handle greater power loads without increasing the size of power electronics systems,” says the study’s lead author, Uttam Singisetti, who adds that the transistor could also benefit micro grid technologies and solid-state transformers.