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 August 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 August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Is It a Plane? No, It's a Hoverbike

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) UK-based Malloy Aeronautics is preparing to test a manned quadcopter capable of out-manouvering a helicopter and presenting a new paradigm for aerial vehicles. A 1/3-sized scale model is already gaining popularity with drone enthusiasts around the world, with the full-sized manned model expected to take flight in the near future. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
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