Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

End Of The Line For Silicon Dioxide? Scientists Investigate New Materials For Even Smaller And More Efficient Transistors

Date:
January 1, 2004
Source:
Technische Universitaet Clausthal
Summary:
By means of computer simulations, scientists at the Technical Universities in Clausthal and Vienna are investigating new materials for even smaller and more efficient transistor generations.

By means of computer simulations, scientists at the Technical Universities in Clausthal and Vienna are investigating new materials for even smaller and more efficient transistor generations.

Related Articles


Vienna/Clausthal (TU). The smaller the transistors, the faster they can operate. As a result, faster and faster processors can also be designed. The function of a transistor requires the presence of a thin insulating layer, the gate oxide. In only a few years, the thickness of this layer will be only one fifty-thousandth of that of a human hair. With continuing use of silicon dioxide as gate oxide, however, further miniaturisation of transistors - and thus the manufacture of even faster chips - will no longer be possible in a few years. Scientists all over the world have been racking their brains for years over the problem of further miniaturising transistors. Although the solution sounds simple, its realisation is quite formidable: a new material must be found.

If silicon dioxide – generally known as window glass – has a thickness of only a few atomic layers, it loses its insulating property. A kind of short circuit thus occurs in the transistor. The required material must therefore allow the application of a layer which is thicker and thus acts as an insulator, but which otherwise behaves as though it were an ultra-thin layer of silicon dioxide. After all, the objective is to design and manufacture transistors which are even smaller and more efficient. Strontium titanate has hitherto proved to be the most promising candidate for the purpose. However, only the "recipe" was previously known, not the combined effects of the ingredients. This knowledge deficit was a barrier to continuing development to achieve the set objective. The team of researchers from Vienna and Clausthal has now succeeded for the first time in determining precisely these combined effects. By means of computer simulations, they can explain the process of forming the oxide layer and thus indicate how their electrical properties can be controlled.

The scientific results achieved by Clemens J. Först, Karlheinz Schwarz – both at TU Vienna – as well as Christopher R. Ashman and Peter E. Blöchl at TU Clausthal have been published in the current issue of "Nature" (Nature 427, 53 (2004)). The article is entitled "The interface between silicon and a high -k oxide".

"Computer simulations shed some light into atomic dimensions, where one would otherwise be almost blind," explains Prof. Blöchl from TU Clausthal. By means of computer simulations, the team of researchers has succeeded in explaining, atom for atom, how a new gate oxide – that is, strontium titanate – can be applied to a silicon wafer. "One can imagine the composite of silicon and strontium titanate as two Lego building blocks positioned one over the other", says Clemens Först from TU Vienna in explaining the essential result. The surfaces of solids exhibit a characteristic atomic and electronic pattern which is governed by the arrangement of the atoms. The charge pattern of the oxide layer, which is comparable with the plug-in pattern of a Lego building block, matches the pattern of the silicon surface saturated with strontium.

For the researchers in Vienna and Clausthal, the conclusions concerning the electrical properties are also promising for the future. The oxide acts as a barrier to electrons and can thus be compared with a dam which holds back water. The higher the barrier is, the better the insulating properties are. For the first time, the scientists have demonstrated that the height of the barrier can be decisively increased by chemical processes at the interface. The properties of the gate oxide can thus be adapted to satisfy technological requirements.

The research work has been performed within the scope of the International Research Consortium - Integration of very high-k dielectrics with silicon CMOS technology (INVEST). The project is supported by the 5th General Program for Technology of the Information Society (IST) of the European Commission.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Technische Universitaet Clausthal. "End Of The Line For Silicon Dioxide? Scientists Investigate New Materials For Even Smaller And More Efficient Transistors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040101090920.htm>.
Technische Universitaet Clausthal. (2004, January 1). End Of The Line For Silicon Dioxide? Scientists Investigate New Materials For Even Smaller And More Efficient Transistors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040101090920.htm
Technische Universitaet Clausthal. "End Of The Line For Silicon Dioxide? Scientists Investigate New Materials For Even Smaller And More Efficient Transistors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040101090920.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

RightThisMinute (Jan. 29, 2015) — If your car has an "Insane Mode" then you know it&apos;s fast. Well, these unsuspecting passengers were in for one insane ride when they hit the button. Tesla cars are awesome. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Bill Gates joins the list of tech moguls scared of super-intelligent machines. He says more people should be concerned, but why? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Stunt Pilots Perform Incredibly Close Flyby

Two Stunt Pilots Perform Incredibly Close Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 29, 2015) — Two pilots from &apos;Escuadrilla Argentina de Acrobacia Aérea&apos; perform an incredibly low altitude flyby stunt during a recent show exhibition in Argentina. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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