Monday December 10, 2018

Researchers Fabricate 2.5 Nanometer Transistors

Researchers from the University of Colorado and MIT claim to have fabricated the smallest 3D transistors ever. The engineers used a relatively new process called thermal atomic layer etching to create FinFET transistors on an indium gallium arsenide base. The researchers claim their transistors performed about 60 percent better that traditional FinFETs in a "transconductance" test, which measures how much energy it takes for a transistor to switch on and off, and that the transistors are "as narrow as 2.5 nanometers."

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In experiments, the researchers removed just .02 nanometers from the material's surface at a time. "You're kind of peeling an onion, layer by layer," Lu says. "In each cycle, we can etch away just 2 percent of a nanometer of a material. That gives us super high accuracy and careful control of the process." Because the technique is so similar to ALD, "you can integrate this thermal ALE into the same reactor where you work on deposition," del Alamo says. It just requires a "small redesign of the deposition tool to handle new gases to do deposition immediately after etching... That's very attractive to industry."