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.

Related Articles


"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 November 20, 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 November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Five minivans were put to the test in head-on crash simulations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shape-Shifting Architecture That Responds to Heat

Shape-Shifting Architecture That Responds to Heat

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 19, 2014) Architectural research students in Barcelona showcase a prototype of a shape-shifting building which expands and contracts as heat is applied. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Aviation Expo 2014: A Weekend to Remember

Flying Aviation Expo 2014: A Weekend to Remember

Flying (Nov. 19, 2014) Get a taste of all the excitement at the first ever Flying Aviation Expo in Palm Springs, California. Video provided by Flying
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