Navigation Links
Creating smaller, and more powerful, integrated circuits
Date:10/30/2013

How's this for precision? Researchers with the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering are developing technology to knock single atoms off a silicon wafer without disturbing atoms of other materials nearby.

Chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Vince Donnelly and Demetre Economou, Hugh Roy and Lilly Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Chair with that same department, are supported in this project by an 18-month, $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Their effort focuses on plasma etching, where ions are shot at a material to create extremely small patterns and features. Specifically, they are exploring ways to etch wafers of silicon with atomic precision. Such an advance could be used to create radically smaller and more powerful integrated circuits, which are at the heart of practically all computing and electronic devices.

To create these extremely fine and precise features, researchers use a mask essentially a stencil that has the desired patterns already formed on it. The masked substrate is then placed in a plasma. There, some of the plasma's ions pass through the mask's patterned holes and etch away the layer just beneath it, creating a perfect copy.

The big challenge to this approach, though, is controlling the kinetic energy the energy of movement of the ions that pass through the mask.

As the ions strike the silicon wafer, the wafer becomes electrically charged. This charge ends up slightly repelling the positively charged ions essentially lowering their kinetic energy. As a result, the beam becomes too weak to etch away the underlying material. The industry overcomes this problem by using AC voltage to neutralize charge. This however, leads to a loss of ion energy control.

"The goal is to have all the ions coming in with the same energy so you can selectively etch one material and not etch another," said Donnelly. "The materials have a threshold for etching. You have to exceed a certain energy to etch a material. If you can select the energy of the ions to be between the thresholds of silicon and silicon dioxide, for example, you can etch silicon and absolutely not the silicon dioxide."

Donnelly and Economou, though, believe they can overcome this problem by applying small, quick bursts of positive voltage to the silicon wafer. Doing so, they said, should neutralize the wafer's charge. As a result, the ion beam can be set to and remain at a kinetic energy that is in the sweet spot between two materials such as silicon and silicon dioxide etching.

"Atomic-scale etching should contribute to the creation of the most advanced integrated circuits ever built. If we can control the kinetic energy of the ions, we can pattern the silicon wafer with that high level of precision," said Donnelly.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeannie Kever
jekever@uh.edu
713-743-0778
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scientists creating new diagnostic and bioinformatics tools for psychotic disorders
2. The new frontier: Creating and marketing food products that prevent disease and obesity
3. Inspired by deep sea sponges: Creating flexible minerals
4. Recreating natural complex gene regulation
5. New method for creating long-lived stem cells used for bone replacement
6. Creating a future of personalized medicine: U-M forms joint venture for DNA diagnostics
7. Gecko feet hold clues to creating bandages that stick when wet
8. Creating energy from light and air - new research on biofuel cells
9. Ultrasound idea: Prototype NIST/CU bioreactor evaluates engineered tissue while creating it
10. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
11. Risk assessment team on Bt plants wins Integrated Pest Management Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems ... seamlessly log work hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377486LOGO ... ... ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... LONDON , June 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Transport Management) von Nepal ... ,Angebot und Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich ... weltweit führend in der Produktion und Implementierung ... an der Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016 Perimeter Surveillance & Detection ... Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  The ... offers comprehensive analysis of the global Border Security ... revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: ... leader in software and hardware technologies for advanced video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced ... this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased ... received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of ... Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform ...
Breaking Biology Technology: