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New Materials Open Door To New Devices


Integrating 2D materials into conventional semiconductor manufacturing processes may be one of the more radical changes in the chip industry’s history. While there is pain and suffering associated with the introduction of any new materials in semiconductor manufacturing, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) support a variety of new device concepts, including BEOL transistors and single-... » read more

New Ways To Improve Batteries


Researchers around the world are racing to develop more efficient, denser, and safer battery technology, and they are reaching far beyond where research has gone before. Much of this is being driven by concern over exhaust from internal combustion engines, which are responsible for a significant portion of global CO2 emissions. Nearly all carmakers today have announced plans to develop batte... » read more

Batteries Have Moving Parts


The race is on to make lithium-ion batteries safer, to increase the amount of energy that can be drawn out of these devices, and to reduce the time it takes to charge them up again. Transistors and other electronic components depend on the movement of electrons, which are effectively massless and dimensionless relative to the semiconductor, metal, and dopant atoms that surround them. A batte... » read more

Thinner Channels With 2D Semiconductors


Moving to future nodes will require more than just smaller features. At 3/2nm and beyond, new materials are likely to be added, but which ones and exactly when will depend upon an explosion of material science research underway at universities and companies around the globe. With field-effect transistors, a voltage applied to the gate creates an electric field in the channel, bending the ban... » read more

IC Materials For Extreme Conditions


The number of materials being researched for chips used in extreme environments, such as landing on the planet Venus, is growing. While GaN has captured much of the attention for power conversion circuits, it's just one of several applications for semiconductors in extreme environments. The high voltage, high temperature, and caustic atmospheres found in many industrial and aerospace environ... » read more

Creating 2D Compounds


A 2D material, by definition, has no surface dangling bonds. A bulk material with plate-like structure, such as graphite, is composed of thin layers with a weakly bonded cleavage plane between. What this means is a monolayer of graphite will seek to satisfy its exposed dangling bonds by absorbing other materials. A monolayer of graphene, in contrast, is energetically complete without a secon... » read more

Possible Uses Narrow For Negative Capacitance FETs


The discovery of a ferroelectric phase in hafnium dioxide (HfO2) has sparked significant interest in opportunities for integration of ferroelectric transistors and memories with conventional CMOS devices. Demonstrations of “negative capacitance” behavior in particular suggest these devices might evade the 60 mV/decade limit on subthreshold swing, thereby improving transistor efficiency. ... » read more

The Growing Materials Challenge


By Katherine Derbyshire & Ed Sperling Materials have emerged as a growing challenge across the semiconductor supply chain, as chips continue to scale, or as they are utilized in new devices such as sensors for AI or machine learning systems. Engineered materials are no longer optional at advanced nodes. They are now a requirement, and the amount of new material content in chips contin... » read more

Integrating Memristors For Neuromorphic Computing


Much of the current research on neuromorphic computing focuses on the use of non-volatile memory arrays as a compute-in-memory component for artificial neural networks (ANNs). By using Ohm’s Law to apply stored weights to incoming signals, and Kirchoff’s Laws to sum up the results, memristor arrays can accelerate the many multiply-accumulate steps in ANN algorithms. ANNs are being dep... » read more

AI Accelerating Discovery


In early April 2018, the Materials Research Society held their spring meeting and exhibit at the Phoenix, Arizona convention center. With more than 110 symposium presentations, it was difficult to select which sessions to attend. But one forum caught my eye, “AI for Materials Development”. These days AI seems to be everywhere. As we all speculate about the impact of AI on autonomous driv... » read more

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