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Definition: hafnium

A chemical element that resembles zirconium. It is used to absorb neutrons in nuclear power generation, as an alloy with tungsten for filaments and electrodes and as an insulator in transistors. For example, by reducing energy leakage in the transistor's dielectric region, hafnium enabled Intel to produce 45 nm microprocessors in 2007 (see High-K/Metal Gate).