Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanowire bridging transistors open way to next-generation electronics

Date:
May 14, 2014
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
Combining atoms of semiconductor materials into nanowires and structures on top of silicon surfaces shows promise for a new generation of fast, robust electronic and photonic devices. Scientists have recently demonstrated three-dimensional nanowire transistors using this approach that open exciting opportunities for integrating other semiconductors, such as gallium nitride, on silicon substrates.

Nanowires grown on silicon.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Davis

A new approach to integrated circuits, combining atoms of semiconductor materials into nanowires and structures on top of silicon surfaces, shows promise for a new generation of fast, robust electronic and photonic devices. Engineers at the University of California, Davis, have recently demonstrated three-dimensional nanowire transistors using this approach that open exciting opportunities for integrating other semiconductors, such as gallium nitride, on silicon substrates.

"Silicon can't do everything," said Saif Islam, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis. Circuits built on conventionally etched silicon have reached their lower size limit, which restricts operation speed and integration density. Additionally, conventional silicon circuits cannot function at temperatures above 250 degrees Celsius (about 480 degrees Fahrenheit), or handle high power or voltages, or optical applications.

The new technology could be used, for example, to build sensors that can operate under high temperatures, for example inside aircraft engines.

"In the foreseeable future, society will be dependent on a variety of sensors and control systems that operate in extreme environments, such as motor vehicles, boats, airplanes, terrestrial oil and ore extraction, rockets, spacecraft, and bodily implants," Islam said.

Devices that include both silicon and nonsilicon materials offer higher speeds and more robust performance. Conventional microcircuits are formed from etched layers of silicon and insulators, but it's difficult to grow nonsilicon materials as layers over silicon because of incompatibilities in crystal structure (or "lattice mismatch") and differences in thermal properties.

Instead, Islam's laboratory at UC Davis has created silicon wafers with "nanopillars" of materials such as gallium arsenide, gallium nitride or indium phosphide on them, and grown tiny nanowire "bridges" between nanopillars.

"We can't grow films of these other materials on silicon, but we can grow them as nanowires," Islam said.

The researchers have been able to make these nanowires operate as transistors, and combine them into more complex circuits as well as devices that are responsive to light. They have developed techniques to control the number of nanowires, their physical characteristics and consistency.

Islam said the suspended structures have other advantages: They are easier to cool and handle thermal expansion better than planar structures -- a relevant issue when mismatched materials are combined in a transistor.

The technology also leverages the well-established technology for manufacturing silicon integrated circuits, instead of having to create an entirely new route for manufacturing and distribution, Islam said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jin Yong Oh, Jong-Tae Park, Hyun-June Jang, Won-Ju Cho, M. Saif Islam. 3D-Transistor Array Based on Horizontally Suspended Silicon Nano-bridges Grown via a Bottom-Up Technique. Advanced Materials, 2014; 26 (12): 1929 DOI: 10.1002/adma.201304245

Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "Nanowire bridging transistors open way to next-generation electronics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514165420.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2014, May 14). Nanowire bridging transistors open way to next-generation electronics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514165420.htm
University of California - Davis. "Nanowire bridging transistors open way to next-generation electronics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514165420.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
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