Navigation Links
Next-generation nanoelectronics: A decade of progress, coming advances
Date:5/3/2012

Traditional silicon-based integrated circuits are found in many applications, from large data servers to cars to cell phones. Their widespread integration is due in part to the semiconductor industry's ability to continue to deliver reliable and scalable performance for decades.

However, while silicon-based circuits continue to shrink in size in the relentless pursuit of Moore's Law the prediction that the number of transistors that can fit on an integrated circuit doubles every two years power consumption is rising rapidly. In addition, conventional silicon electronics do not function well in extreme environments such as high temperatures or radiation.

In an effort to sustain the advance of these devices while curbing power consumption, diverse research communities are looking for hybrid or alternative technologies. Nanoelectromechanical (NEM) switch technology is one option that shows great promise.

"NEM switches consist of a nanostructure (such as a carbon nanotube or nanowire) that deflects mechanically under electrostatic forces to make or break contact with an electrode," said Horacio Espinosa, James N. and Nancy J. Farley Professor in Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship at the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

NEM switches, which can be designed to function like a silicon transistor, could be used either in standalone or hybrid NEM-silicon devices. They offer both ultra-low power consumption and a strong tolerance of high temperatures and radiation exposure.

Given their potential, the past decade has seen significant attention to the development of both hybrid and standalone NEM devices. This decade of progress is reviewed by Espinosa's group in the current issue of journal Nature Nanotechnology. Their review provides a comprehensive discussion of the potential of these technologies, as well as the primary challenges associated with adopting them.

For example, one longstanding challenge has been to create arrays of millions of the nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes, that are used to make these NEM devices. (For perspective, modern silicon electronics can have billions of transistors on a single chip.) The researchers' review describes the methods demonstrated to date to create these arrays, and how they may provide a path to realizing hybrid NEM-CMOS devices on a mass scale.

Similarly, while individual NEM devices show extremely high performance, it has proven difficult so far to make them operate reliably for millions of cycles, which is necessary if they are to be used in consumer electronics. The review details the various modes of failure and describes promising methods for overcoming them.

An example of the advances that facilitate improved robustness of NEM switch technologies is reported in the current issue of Advanced Materials. Here Espinosa and his group show how novel material selection can greatly improve the robustness of both hybrid NEM-CMOS and standalone NEM devices.

"NEM devices with commonly-used metal electrodes often fail by one of a variety of failure modes after only a few actuation cycles," said Owen Loh, a PhD student at Northwestern University and co-author of the paper, currently at Intel.

Simply by replacing the metal electrodes with electrodes made from conductive diamond-like carbon films, the group was able to dramatically improve the number of cycles these devices endure. Switches that originally failed after fewer than 10 cycles now operated for 1 million cycles without failure. This facile yet effective advance may provide a key step toward realizing the NEM devices whose potential is outlined in the recent review.

The work reported in Advanced Materials was a joint collaboration between Northwestern University, the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Sandia National Laboratories, and the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratories. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office, The U.S. Department of Energy, and the Office of Naval Research.

"Ultimately, realizing next-generation hybrid NEM-CMOS devices will enable continued scaling of the electronics that power numerous systems we encounter on a daily basis," Espinosa said. "At the same time, it will require continued push from the engineering, basic sciences, and materials science communities."


'/>"/>

Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. MicuRx Pharmaceuticals Selects Next-Generation Antibiotic Candidate Targeting MRSA and Expands Operation in China
2. Isilon IQ Powers Data Storage for Next-Generation DNA Sequencing
3. Capture of nanomagnetic fingerprints a boost for next-generation information storage media
4. Automated Sequence Capture for Next-Generation Sequencing Paves the Way for Personalized Medicine
5. Enerkem announces plans to enter the United States with next-generation biofuels project in Mississippi
6. Cell Biosciences Launches Next-Generation Protein Characterization System
7. VisEn Launches Next-Generation Fast (Fluorescence Activatible Sensor Technology) Agent Platform for Expanded Performance in Imaging Disease Biomarkers In Vivo
8. SeqWright Expands into the Genetically-Targeted Therapy Field by Partnering with PharmaGenoma to Provide Next-Generation Hair Loss Treatment Genetic Testing
9. FDA Approves Boston Scientifics Next-Generation TAXUS(R) Liberte(R) Atom(TM) Stent System
10. Angiotech Pharmaceuticals announces FDA approval of next-generation TAXUS(R) Liberte(R) Atom(TM) Stent system
11. Advanced Instruments Introduces Next-Generation Web Site
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, doctors ... being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells derived from ... frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to the swelling ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 On Wednesday, June ... 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% ... at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the ... Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today ... life sciences incubator to accelerate the development of ... space at QB3@953 was created to help high-potential life ... many early stage organizations - access to laboratory infrastructure. ... launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each winner ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  According to Kalorama ... generation sequencing (NGS) market include significant efforts in ... sequencers.  More accessible and affordable sequencers, say the ... demand for consumables including sample prep materials.  The ... for Sample Preparation for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal ... new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at ... heels of the deployment of its platform at several ... biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 31, 2016   ... the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release ... soon to be launched online site for trading 100% ... ) will also provide potential shareholders a sense of ... to an industry that is notorious for fraud. The ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 ... "Company") LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to ... ink used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring ... of originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will ... analysis of the DNA. Bill Bollander ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):