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New nano techniques integrate electron gas-producing oxides with silicon
Date:10/19/2010

MADISON In cold weather, many children can't resist breathing onto a window and writing in the condensation. Now imagine the window as an electronic device platform, the condensation as a special conductive gas, and the letters as lines of nanowires.

A team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison Materials Science and Engineering Professor Chang-Beom Eom has demonstrated methods to harness essentially this concept for broad applications in nanoelectronic devices, such as next-generation memory or tiny transistors. The discoveries were published Oct. 19 by the journal Nature Communications.

Eom's team has developed techniques to produce structures based on electronic oxides that can be integrated on a silicon substratethe most common electronic device platform.

"The structures we have developed, as well as other oxide-based electronic devices, are likely to be very important in nanoelectronic applications, when integrated with silicon," Eom says.

The term "oxide" refers to a compound with oxygen as a fundamental element. Oxides include millions of compounds, each with unique properties that could be valuable in electronics and nanoelectronics.

Usually, oxide materials cannot be grown on silicon because oxides and silicon have different, incompatible crystal structures. Eom's technique combines single-crystal expitaxy, postannealing and etching to create a process that permits the oxide structure to reside on silicona significant accomplishment that solves a very complex challenge.

The new process allows the team to form a structure that puts three-atom-thick layers of lanthanum-aluminum-oxide in contact with strontium-titanium-oxide and then put the entire structure on top of a silicon substrate.

These two oxides are important because an "electron gas" forms at the interface of their layers, and a scanning probe microscope can make this gas layer conductive. The tip of the microscope is dragg
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Contact: Chang-Beom Eom
eom@engr.wisc.edu
608-263-6305
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

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