Navigation Links
Silicon with afterburners: Process developed at Rice could be boon to electronics manufacturer
Date:7/23/2009

Scientists at Rice University and North Carolina State University have found a method of attaching molecules to semiconducting silicon that may help manufacturers reach beyond the current limits of Moore's Law as they make microprocessors both smaller and more powerful.

Their findings are published this month by the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Moore's Law, suggested by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, said the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles about every two years. But even Moore has said the law cannot be sustained indefinitely.

The challenge is to get past the limits of doping, a process that has been essential to creating the silicon substrate that is at the heart of all modern integrated circuits, said James Tour, Rice's Chao Professor of Chemistry and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science.

Doping introduces impurities into pure crystalline silicon as a way of tuning microscopic circuits to a particular need, and it's been effective so far even in concentrations as small as one atom of boron, arsenic or phosphorus per 100 million of silicon. But as manufacturers pack more transistors onto integrated circuits by making the circuits ever smaller, doping gets problematic.

"When silicon gets really small, down to the nanoscale, you get structures that essentially have very little volume," Tour said. "You have to put dopant atoms in silicon for it to work as a semiconductor, but now, devices are so small you get inhomogeneities. You may have a few more dopant atoms in this device than in that one, so the irregularities between them become profound."

Manufacturers who put billions of devices on a single chip need them all to work the same way, but that becomes more difficult with the size of a state-of-the-art circuit at 45 nanometers wide -- a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers wide -- and smaller ones on the way.

The paper suggests that monolayer molecular grafting -- basically, attaching molecules to the surface of the silicon rather than mixing them in -- essentially serves the same function as doping, but works better at the nanometer scale. "We call it silicon with afterburners," Tour said. "We're putting an even layer of molecules on the surface. These are not doping in the same way traditional dopants do, but they're effectively doing the same thing."

Tour said years of research into molecular computing with an eye toward replacing silicon has yielded little fruit. "It's hard to compete with something that has trillions of dollars and millions of person-years invested into it. So we decided it would be good to complement silicon, rather than try to supplant it."

He anticipates wide industry interest in the process, in which carbon molecules could be bonded with silicon either through a chemical bath or evaporation. "This is a nice entry point for molecules into the silicon industry. We can go to a manufacturer and say, 'Let us make your fabrication line work for you longer. Let us complement what you have.'

"This gives the Intels and the Microns and the Samsungs of the world another tool to try, and I guarantee you they'll be trying this."


'/>"/>

Contact: David Ruth
druth@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Silicon Valley Technology Leaders LaserCard Corporation and Tesla Motors Sign LaserPass Secure Access Deal
2. Silicons effect on sunflowers studied
3. University of Leicester researchers discover new fluorescent silicon nanoparticles
4. Thermochemical process converts poultry litter into bio-oil
5. New insight into the mechanisms of voltage sensing and transduction in biological processes
6. UCI researchers restore memory process in most common form of mental disability
7. ACT Ensures Integrity of Testing Process Through Deployment of BIO-keys(R) Biometric ID Technology
8. Engineered weathering process could mitigate global warming
9. Raydiance collaborates with Rutgers, MTF to develop innovative tissue processing approaches
10. Atmels Biometric Co-processor Solution Featured at AIS/CBX
11. It is important to demonstrate the influence of the microenvironment in the process of metastasis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Silicon with afterburners: Process developed at Rice could be boon to electronics manufacturer
(Date:2/9/2016)... , Feb. 9, 2016 Vigilant Solutions announces today ... reader (LPR) to develop a lead in a difficult homicide ... LPR data to locate the suspect vehicle. Due to the ... case have been omitted at the agency,s request. ... agency explains, "Our victim was found deceased at an intersection ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 The field of ... of the most popular hubs of the biotechnology ... other huge studies of human microbiota, have garnered ... years, the microbiome space has literally exploded in ... This report focuses on biomedical aspects of ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016 Vigilant Solutions announces ... Department in Missouri solved two ... reader (LPR) data from Vigilant Solutions. Brian ... in which the victim was walking out of a convenience store and witnessed ... next to his vehicle, striking his vehicle and leaving ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  Matchbook, Inc., a company specializing ... biotech companies, announced today the appointment of ... Jim brings nearly 25 years of experience in ... spent nearly two decades in executive level roles ... at Genzyme and, most recently headed global logistics ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... SonaCare Medical, LLC reports the introduction of ... monitoring. The inaugural launch of this new technology occurred over the course of ... to a HIFU technical expert at SonaCare Medical headquarters. , Sonalink allows ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... Cenna Bioscience Inc., an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and ... been selected to present at the Cavendish Global Health Impact Forum taking place February ... of the Forum is to help family offices and foundations develop and implement their ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... Baruch S. Blumberg Institute at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County, 3805 ... The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) will hold an open house for participants to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: