Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dual Microscopes Illuminate Electronic Switching Speeds

Date:
September 29, 2003
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology
Summary:
A National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researcher and a Korean guest researcher describe a new method for scanning semiconductors for defects that may help accelerate the market for these newer materials. The duo combined an atomic force microscope with a scanning capacitance microscope and then added custom software and a simple on/off switch for the AFM's positioning laser.

Designers of semiconductor devices are like downhill skiers---they thrive on speed. And achieving speed in the semiconductor business is all about the stuff you start with. While silicon is still the mainstay of the industry, circuit designers also would like to put materials like gallium nitride and silicon carbide into wider use. Such advanced semiconductor materials can operate at higher voltages and provide faster switching speeds, an important characteristic in determining how fast a semiconductor circuit can process information.

Reporting in the Sept. 22 issue of Applied Physics Letters, a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researcher and a Korean guest researcher describe a new method for scanning semiconductors for defects that may help accelerate the market for these newer materials. The duo combined an atomic force microscope with a scanning capacitance microscope and then added custom software and a simple on/off switch for the AFM's positioning laser.

The result is an instrument that can measure how fast a material generates electrical charges and then map those speeds in sections (at least for gallium nitride) that are only about 100 nanometers square. Current methods for measuring switching speed (carrier lifetime) produce only bulk averages.

According to NIST co-developer Joseph Kopanski, the system allows quick scanning of semiconductor wafers for defects that otherwise may not be found until an expensive device has already been built on the material. Most defects in semiconductors (i.e. sections with missing atoms) are presumed to slow down the speed that charges move through a material. Kopanski says further research using the new technique should determine if this assumption is correct. A patent application is pending on the technique.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Dual Microscopes Illuminate Electronic Switching Speeds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030929053930.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. (2003, September 29). Dual Microscopes Illuminate Electronic Switching Speeds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030929053930.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Dual Microscopes Illuminate Electronic Switching Speeds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030929053930.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Frustration As Drone Industry Outpaces Regulation In U.S.

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) U.S. firms worry they’re falling behind in the marketplace as the FAA considers how to regulate commercial drones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Smart Gun Innovators Fear Backlash From Gun Rights Advocates

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) Winners of a contest for smart gun design are asking not to be named after others in the industry received threats for marketing similar products. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Captured The Sound Of An Atom

Scientists Have Captured The Sound Of An Atom

Newsy (Sep. 12, 2014) Scientists have captured the sound of a single atom by measuring its vibrations. We can't hear it, but it's reportedly the faintest sound possible. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Solar Flare Surges Off Sun

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 11, 2014) NASA captures video of a significant flare surging off the sun. Jillian Kitchener reports. 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