Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Breakthrough made in electronics technology

05.07.2002


Researchers at Oregon State University have made a significant breakthrough in the technology to produce crystalline oxide films, which play roles in semiconductor chips, flat panel displays and many other electronic products.



In a report to be published Friday in the journal Science, the OSU scientists explain a way to create these crystalline thin films at temperatures far lower than those used currently, and with no need to be produced in a vacuum as the current technology usually requires.

This fundamental advance may eventually open up important new applications in the electronics, computer and high technology industries, making new products possible or lowering the cost of those already being created.


The study was a joint effort of scientists in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at OSU, in collaboration with two private technology companies, Hewlett Packard and ReyTech Corp. of Bend, Ore. The research was supported by Hewlett Packard and $1.25 million in grants from the National Science Foundation. OSU has applied for a patent on the new advance.

"This is a general method of producing oxide films that could bring down manufacturing costs tremendously and change the way many electronic or photonic products are created," said Douglas Keszler, an OSU professor of chemistry. "It’s a real breakthrough that could shake up a few people in the high tech and thin film industries. There should be quite a bit of interest."

According to Keszler, many electronic or photonic devices contain crystalline oxide films that can conduct electricity, serve as insulators or have desirable optical properties. To achieve crystallinity, it’s usually necessary to manufacture the films in high vacuum conditions and at extraordinarily high temperatures of more than 1,800 degrees. Sophisticated equipment is needed to achieve both the vacuum condition and high temperature, and the process is expensive.

By contrast, the new approach discovered by OSU scientists and engineers uses a simple, water-based chemistry to deposit and crystallize these films at dramatically lower temperatures, about 250 degrees, or just slightly hotter than boiling water. No vacuum is necessary.

"We found that you can take certain materials that contain water and let them dehydrate slowly and at low temperatures, and still observe crystallinity," Keszler said. "Processing is done in a bath, rather than requiring expensive technology, vacuums and very high temperatures. There has never been a way before to both deposit and crystallize electronic or photonic films at such low temperatures."

The very need for such high manufacturing temperatures, the OSU researchers said, has in fact precluded the use of these electronic thin films on some applications, such as plastics, that would melt and be destroyed by temperatures of 1,800 degrees. And the new approach could also facilitate cheaper mass production of some products, whereas in the past the need for sophisticated technology and space constraints might have limited manufacturers to making one product or a few at a time.

According to John Wager, a co-author on the study and professor of electrical and computer engineering at OSU, it may take further research and increased collaboration with private industry to implement the new approach in large-scale commercial manufacturing processes. But the possibilities seem promising, he said.

"It’s always difficult to predict exactly how a new technology will be received and used in manufacturing products," Wager said. "But clearly this offers some ways to reduce costs or create new products that never were possible before."

The OSU researchers said it may now be more practical to place electronic devices on a plastic substrate, such as a credit card or for other uses. There may be applications with flat panel displays, insulating glass, storage batteries, use of these films as a corrosion barrier, in liquid crystal displays, or in some of the exciting new products made possible by transparent electronics.

And the new technology could be developed to play a key role in the semiconductor industry, Wager said.

"Everything in semiconductor manufacturing is moving to lower temperature processing in order to create smaller devices," Wager said. "Atoms move around too much at high temperatures. This new approach to creating crystalline thin films could find practical, mass production applications in semiconductor chips once the technology is fully developed to its potential."

"We expect a fair amount of interest," Wager said.


###
By David Stauth, 541-737-0787

SOURCE: John Wager, 541-737-2994


Douglas Keszler | EurekAlert!

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Defining the backbone of future mobile internet access
21.07.2017 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

nachricht Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation
20.07.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>