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Nanowire transistors key to planar challenges

Posted: 04 Jun 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:nanowire transistor? planar fabrication? oscillator?

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center researchers have developed a series of functional 25-stage ring oscillators using silicon nanowire transistors with diameters down to 2.6nm.

The use of silicon nanowire transistors is proposed to allow the continued scaling of CMOS beyond what is possible in planar fabrication.

The IBM researchers position the FinFET device as a near-term solution to planar challenges that has improved electrostatic channel control by placing gates on both sides of the fin channel. The gate-all-around nanowire device is the ultimate evolution of this trend and has the best possible electrostatic channel control, the research states.

The fabrication of ring oscillator structures made up from CMOS inverters demonstrates that this type of device can yield complex circuits.

The silicon nanowire transistors have a hafnium-based dielectric layer separating the inner silicon wire from a gate-all-around polycrystalline silicon gate. The silicon wire was made with a range of diameters down to 2.6nm and with gate lengths down to 25nm. The nanowire capacitance shows size dependence in agreement with that of a cylindrical capacitor and the ac characterization shows enhanced self-heating below diameters of 5nm.

The results demonstrate a viable scaling path for silicon-based devices, the researchers claimed in an abstract of the full paper.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times

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