Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Space Industry and Business News .




CHIP TECH
Moore's Law Gets Boost With Fundamental Chemistry Finding
by Staff Writers
Berkeley CA (SPX) Jul 16, 2014


Paul Ashby and Deirdre Olynick of Berkeley Lab at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) Extreme Ultraviolet 12.0.1 Beamline. Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab.

Over the years, computer chips have gotten smaller thanks to advances in materials science and manufacturing technologies. This march of progress, the doubling of transistors on a microprocessor roughly every two years, is called Moore's Law. But there's one component of the chip-making process in need of an overhaul if Moore's law is to continue: the chemical mixture called photoresist. Similar to film used in photography, photoresist, also just called resist, is used to lay down the patterns of ever-shrinking lines and features on a chip.

Now, in a bid to continue decreasing transistor size while increasing computation and energy efficiency, chip-maker Intel has partnered with researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) to design an entirely new kind of resist.

And importantly, they have done so by characterizing the chemistry of photoresist, crucial to further improve performance in a systematic way. The researchers believe their results could be easily incorporated by companies that make resist, and find their way into manufacturing lines as early as 2017.

The new resist effectively combines the material properties of two pre-existing kinds of resist, achieving the characteristics needed to make smaller features for microprocessors, which include better light sensitivity and mechanical stability, says Paul Ashby, staff scientist at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry, a DOE Office of Science user facility.

"We discovered that mixing chemical groups, including cross linkers and a particular type of ester, could improve the resist's performance." The work is published this week in the journal Nanotechnology.

Finding a new kind of photoresist is "one of the largest challenges facing the semiconductor industry in the materials space," says Patrick Naulleau, director of the Center for X-ray Optics (CXRO) at Berkeley Lab. Moreover, there's been very little understanding of the fundamental science of how resist actually works at the chemical level, says Deirdre Olynick, staff scientist at the Molecular Foundry.

"Resist is a very complex mixture of materials and it took so long to develop the technology that making huge leaps away from what's already known has been seen as too risky," she says. But now the lack of fundamental understanding could potentially put Moore's Law in jeopardy, she adds.

To understand why resist is so important, consider a simplified explanation of how your microprocessors are made. A silicon wafer, about a foot in diameter, is cleaned and coated with a layer of photoresist. Next ultraviolet light is used to project an image of the desired circuit pattern including components such as wires and transistors on the wafer, chemically altering the resist.

Depending on the type of resist, light either makes it more or less soluble, so when the wafer is immersed in a solvent, the exposed or unexposed areas wash away. The resist protects the material that makes up transistors and wires from being etched away and can allow the material to be selectively deposited. This process of exposure, rinse and etch or deposition is repeated many times until all the components of a chip have been created.

The problem with today's resist, however, is that it was originally developed for light sources that emit so-called deep ultraviolet light with wavelengths of 248 and 193 nanometers. But to gain finer features on chips, the industry intends to switch to a new light source with a shorter wavelength of just 13.5 nanometers. Called extreme ultraviolet (EUV), this light source has already found its way into manufacturing pilot lines. Unfortunately, today's photoresist isn't yet ready for high volume manufacturing.

"The semiconductor industry wants to go to smaller and smaller features," explains Ashby. While extreme ultraviolet light is a promising technology, he adds, "you also need the resist materials that can pattern to the resolution that extreme ultraviolet can promise." So teams led by Ashby and Olynick, which include Berkeley Lab postdoctoral researcher Prashant Kulshreshtha, investigated two types of resist. One is called crosslinking, composed of molecules that form bonds when exposed to ultraviolet light.

This kind of resist has good mechanical stability and doesn't distort during development-that is, tall, thin lines made with it don't collapse. But if this is achieved with excessive crosslinking, it requires long, expensive exposures. The second kind of resist is highly sensitive, yet doesn't have the mechanical stability.

When the researchers combined these two types of resist in various concentrations, they found they were able to retain the best properties of both. The materials were tested using the unique EUV patterning capabilities at the CXRO.

Using the Nanofabrication and Imaging and Manipulation facilities at the Molecular Foundry to analyze the patterns, the researchers saw improvements in the smoothness of lines created by the photoresist, even as they shrunk the width. Through chemical analysis, they were also able to see how various concentrations of additives affected the cross-linking mechanism and resulting stability and sensitivity.

The researchers say future work includes further optimizing the resist's chemical formula for the extremely small components required for tomorrow's microprocessors. The semiconductor industry is currently locking down its manufacturing processes for chips at the so-called 10-nanometer node. If all goes well, these resist materials could play an important role in the process and help Moore's Law persist. This research was funded by the Intel Corporation, JSR Micro, and the DOE Office of Science (Basic Energy Sciences).

.


Related Links
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab)
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture
Nano Technology News From SpaceMart.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





CHIP TECH
Rice's silicon oxide memories catch manufacturers' eye
Houston TX (SPX) Jul 11, 2014
Rice University's breakthrough silicon oxide technology for high-density, next-generation computer memory is one step closer to mass production, thanks to a refinement that will allow manufacturers to fabricate devices at room temperature with conventional production methods. First discovered five years ago, Rice's silicon oxide memories are a type of two-terminal, "resistive random-access ... read more


CHIP TECH
USAF orders ground approach radar for Saudi Arabia

Sandstone arches formed by gravity and stress, not erosion

19th Century Math Tactic Tweak Yields Answers 200 Times Faster

A new multi-bit 'spin' for MRAM storage

CHIP TECH
Third MUOS satellite heads for final checkout

Saab reports U.S. Army order for radio systems

Thales enhancing communications of EU peacekeepers

Exelis enhancing communications for NATO country

CHIP TECH
First Launch of Proton After Crash Scheduled for September 28

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 Flights Deemed Successful

ISS 'space truck' launch postponed: Arianespace

45th Space Wing launches 6 second-generation ORBCOMM satellites

CHIP TECH
Russian GLONASS to Boost Yield Capacity by 50 percent

US Refusal to Host GLONASS Base a Form of Competition with Russia

New device developed to defeat GPS jamming

EU selects CGI to support Galileo Commercial Service Initiative

CHIP TECH
Evidence mounts of MH17 missile strike, but proof elusive

NASA Turns Over New Air Traffic Management Tool To FAA

In air tragedy, lightning strikes twice for Malaysia

Airbus supplying more aircraft to Egyptian Air Force

CHIP TECH
Moore's Law Gets Boost With Fundamental Chemistry Finding

Technique simplifies the creation of high-tech crystals

Rice's silicon oxide memories catch manufacturers' eye

The World's First Photonic Router

CHIP TECH
NASA's Van Allen Probes Show How to Accelerate Electrons

Ten-Year Endeavor: NASA's Aura Tracks Pollutants

Hyperspec Sensors Target Vegetation Fluorescence

New Satellite Imagery Now Available for ArcGIS Online Users Worldwide

CHIP TECH
Microplastics worse for crabs and other marine life than previously thought

New study links dredging to diseased corals

Italy cruise ship toxins threaten wildlife: activists

Straits of Mackinac 'worst possible place' for a Great Lakes oil spill




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.