Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How "Micro" Can We Go?

Date:
December 4, 1998
Source:
Weizmann Institute
Summary:
Microelectronics may be a growth industry, but the devices it produces are getting smaller every year. Just how "micro" can electronic devices go?

Microelectronics may be a growth industry, but the devices it produces are getting smaller every year. Just how "micro" can electronic devices go?

Weizmann Institute scientists have provided one of the answers to this question. Making simple and elegant use of a chemical theory of liquids, they developed a way to predict the minimal possible size of bipolar transistors, one of the major types of transistors commonly used in microelectronics. They then managed to manufacture such a tiny structure using the experimental semiconductor copper indium diselenide. With an inner core of just 20 nanometers (billionths of a meter) and total width of 50 nanometers -- less than one-thousandth the width of a human hair -- the device is five times smaller than today's smallest standard transistors of this type.

This research, reported recently in Applied Physics Letters, was performed by doctoral student Shachar Richter, working with Prof. David Cahen of the Materials and Interfaces Department, Dr. Yishay Manassen, formerly of Weizmann's Chemical Physics Department and now a professor of physics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and Dr. Sidney Cohen, head of Weizmann's Surface Analysis Unit.

In his research, Richter used atomic force microscopy -- a technique in which a phonograph-like stylus probes the surface of a material -- to manipulate atoms in a semiconductor. Normally, such microscopes can only shift atoms on the surface of a material, but Richter, building on earlier research by Prof. Cahen, managed to move these atoms around inside the semiconductor.

Richter achieved his results by applying a voltage to the semiconductor and passing a current through the material. Aided by the slight heating produced by the current, the voltage caused atoms called dopants, which determine the material's conductivity, to be propelled in a particular direction. Even though only 100 to 200 dopants were moved in this manner, this sufficed to produce a tiny transistor. It consisted of a hemispherical layer of relatively high conductivity containing the redistributed dopants, flanked on both sides by material with different conductivity.

Next, Richter used the same microscope stylus -- at low voltage -- to map the conductivity of this miniature structure. Richter's new mapping method, called scanning spreading resistance, reveals the precise path that would be taken by an electric current flowing through a transistor of this type. This new type of measurement, developed independently by Belgian researchers around the time of Richter's study, promises to become an important tool for evaluating miniature electronic devices.

These findings don't necessarily mean that microelectronic devices will eventually get as small as Richter's transistor. His device, however, can serve as a valuable research tool for studying the limits of miniaturization.

Funding for this research was provided by the Israel Science Foundation and the Minerva Foundation, Munich, Germany.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weizmann Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute. "How "Micro" Can We Go?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074905.htm>.
Weizmann Institute. (1998, December 4). How "Micro" Can We Go?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074905.htm
Weizmann Institute. "How "Micro" Can We Go?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074905.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins