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

g. 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.


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

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