A laboratory at Purdue University provided a critical part of the world's first transistor in 1947 – the purified germanium semiconductor – and now researchers here are on the forefront of a new germanium milestone.
The team has created the first modern germanium circuit – a complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) device – using germanium as the semiconductor instead of silicon.
This graphic depicts a new electronic device created at Purdue that uses germanium as the semiconductor instead of silicon. Germanium is one material being considered to replace silicon in future chips because it could enable the industry to make smaller transistors and more compact integrated circuits. (Purdue University image)
"Bell Labs created the first transistor, but the semiconductor crystal made of purified germanium was provided by Purdue physicists," said Peide "Peter" Ye, a Purdue professor of electrical and computer engineering.
Germanium was superseded by silicon as the semiconductor of choice for commercial CMOS technology. However, the industry will soon reach the limit as to how small silicon transistors can be made, threatening future advances. Germanium is one material being considered to replace silicon because it could enable the industry to make smaller transistors and more compact integrated circuits, Ye said.
Compared to silicon, germanium also is said to have a "higher mobility" for electrons and electron "holes," a trait that makes for ultra-fast circuits.
In new findings, Purdue researchers show how to use germanium to produce two types of transistors needed for CMOS electronic devices. The material had previously been limited to "P-type" transistors. The findings show how to use the material also to make "N-type" transistors. Because both types of transistors are needed for CMOS circuits, the findings point to possible applications for germanium in computers and electronics, he said.
Findings will be detailed in two papers being presented during the 2014 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting on Dec. 15-17 in San Francisco. One paper was authored by Ye and graduate students Heng Wu, Nathan Conrad and Wei Luo, the same authors of the second paper together with graduate students Mengwei Si, Jingyun Zhang and Hong Zhou.
The material has properties that make it difficult to create an N-type contact with low electrical resistance for good current flow. However, the germanium is doped, or impregnated with impurities that alter its properties. The areas containing the most impurities have the lowest resistance. The researchers showed how to etch away the top layer of germanium, exposing the most heavily doped portion, which provides a good contact.
The etching creates recessed channels, which serve as gates needed for CMOS transistors to switch on and off. Findings show the fundamental part of the circuit, called the inverter, is the best-performing non-silicon inverter demonstrated so far, Ye said.
The research, based at the Birck Nanotechnology Center in Purdue's Discovery Park, are funded in part by the Semiconductor Research Corp.
Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, email@example.com
Source: Peide Ye, 765-494-7611, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Journalists: Electronic copies of the research papers are available from Emil Venere, Purdue News Service, at 765-494-4709, email@example.com
First Experimental Demonstration of Ge CMOS Circuits
Heng Wu, Nathan Conrad, Wei Luo, and Peide D. Ye*
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University
*Tel: 1-765-494-7611, Fax: 1-765-496-6443, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We report the first experimental demonstration of Ge CMOS circuits, based on a novel recessed channel and S/D technique. Aggressively scaled non-Si CMOS logic devices with channel lengths (Lch) from 500 to 20 nm, channel thicknesses (Tch) of 25 and 15 nm, EOTs of 4.5 and 3 nm and a small width ratio (Wn:Wp=1.2) are realized on a Ge-on-insulator (GeOI) substrate. The CMOS inverters have high voltage gain of up to 36 V/V, which is the best value among all of the non-Si CMOS results by the standard top-down approach. Scalability studies on Ge CMOS inverters down to 20 nm are carried out for the first time. NAND and NOR logic gates are also investigated.
Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
Open, flexible assembly platform for optical systems
23.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnologie IPT
A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering