“Computer chips are constantly getting smaller and smaller. There’s an unrelenting decrease in size. And the question arises, how do you wire these things in"” said Dr. Jillian Buriak, University of Alberta professor and senior research officer at the National Institute for Nanotechnology. “If you’re going to make something on the order of 22 or even 18 nanometres, then you’d better have a plug that’s about that size, too.”
A team of NINT researchers, headed by Buriak, has demonstrated an innovative technique for producing very small conductive nano-wires on silicon chips. The process can produce nano-wires that are 5,000 times longer than they are wide. The innovative technique for producing very small conductive nano-wires on silicon chips meets the need for connecting ever-smaller transistors and other electronic components.
“You need very tiny wires to connect everything,” said Buriak. “We’ve figured out a way to use molecules that will self-assemble to form the lines that can be used as wires. Then we use those molecules as templates and fill them up with metal, and then we have the wires that we want. You use the molecules to do the hard work for you.”
In one example, 25 parallel platinum nano-wires were made using this self assembly process, with each wire measuring only 10 nm in width, but extending to a length of 50 microns.
While the idea of wires ‘self-assembling’ sounds like something from science-fiction, it’s a natural process, says Buriak.
“You are the product of self-assembly. The way DNA forms a double helix is self-assembly. It’s just that molecules will recognize each other, bind to each other and then they’ll form structures,” she said. “And the molecules we’re using are actually very simple. They’re just polymers, just plastics that do that naturally.”
While the new process could provide the solution for computer manufacturers looking for ways of increasing the speed and storage capacity of electronics, it could also mean cheaper electronics as well.
“If you have to go and lithographically define one single wire, it’s going to be painstakingly hard and expensive,” said Buriak. “But, if you can have a cheap molecule do it for you, that’s great, that’s going to be much cheaper, use much less energy and be a little more environmentally friendly.”
Ryan Smith | EurekAlert!
Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State
What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy