“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!
Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials
17.01.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes
Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume
15.01.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.01.2018 | Awards Funding