Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New semiconductor research may extend integrated circuit battery life tenfold

Early results using novel materials and processes achieves milestone toward low-power tunnel transistor electronics

Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology, international semiconductor consortium SEMATECH and Texas State University have demonstrated that use of new methods and materials for building integrated circuits can reduce power—extending battery life to 10 times longer for mobile applications compared to conventional transistors.

The key to the breakthrough is a tunneling field effect transistor. Transistors are switches that control the movement of electrons through material to conduct the electrical currents needed to run circuits. Unlike standard transistors, which are like driving a car over a hill, the tunneling field effect transistor is more like tunneling through a hill, says Sean Rommel, associate professor of electrical and microelectronic engineering.

“The tunneling field effect transistors have not yet demonstrated a sufficiently large drive current to make it a practical replacement for current transistor technology,” Rommel says, “but this work conclusively established the largest tunneling current ever experimentally demonstrated, answering a key question about the viability of tunneling field effect transistor technology.”

Rommel worked with David Pawlik, Brian Romanczyk and Paul Thomas, three graduate students in the microelectronic engineering and microsystems engineering programs at RIT. Along with colleagues from SEMATECH and Texas State University, the team presented the breakthrough findings at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco this past December.

In order to accurately observe and quantify these current levels, a fabrication and testing procedure was performed at RIT. Pawlik developed a process to build and test vertical Esaki tunnel diodes smaller than 120 nanometers in diameter, Rommel explains. This procedure allowed the researchers to measure hundreds of diodes per sample. Because of the nanometer-scale devices tested, the researchers were able to experimentally observe currents substantially larger than any previously reported tunneling currents.

Esaki tunnel diodes, discovered in 1957 and the first quantum devices, were used to create a map showing output tunnel currents for a given set of material systems and parameters. For the first time, researchers have a single reference to which they can compare results from the micro- to the mega-ampere range, Rommel adds.

“This work may be used by others in designing higher performance tunneling field effect transistors which may enable future low power integrated circuits for your mobile device,” he says.

The team’s findings in the area of developing high performance, low-power electronic devices are also detailed in the paper, “Benchmarking and Improving III-V Esaki Diode Performance with a Record 2.2 MA cm2 Current Density to Enhance Tunneling Field-Effect Transistor Drive Current.” The National Science Foundation, SEMATECH and RIT’s Office of the Vice President of Research sponsor the work.

“SEMATECH, RIT and Texas State have made a significant breakthrough in the basic materials for the sub 10 nm node with this work,” said Paul Kirsch, director of SEMATECH’s Front End Processes. “The research that was presented at the International Electron Devices Meeting on III-V Esaki tunnel diode performance resolves fundamental questions on the viability of tunneling field effect transistors and provides a practical basis for low-voltage transistor technologies.”

Michelle Cometa | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Electron SEMATECH Transistor integrated circuits transistor technology

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht 'Super yeast' has the power to improve economics of biofuels
18.10.2016 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Engineers reveal fabrication process for revolutionary transparent sensors
14.10.2016 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>