Researchers grow 1D sub-1nm transistor

Researchers grow 1D sub-1nm transistor

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Researchers in Korea have grown two and one dimensional structures on silicon to build a transistor with a gate electrode of under 1nm.

The team led by Director JO Moon-Ho of the Center for Van der Waals Quantum Solids within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) has implemented a novel method to achieve epitaxial growth of 1D metallic materials with a width of less than 1nm. The group applied this process to develop a new structure for 2D semiconductor logic circuits with the 1D metals as a gate electrode.

The International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS) by the IEEE predicts semiconductor node technology to reach around 0.5 nm by 2037, with transistor gate lengths of 12 nm. The research team demonstrated that the channel width modulated by the electric field applied from the 1D MTB gate can be as small as 3.9 nm, significantly exceeding the futuristic prediction.

Integrated devices based on two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors are a major focus of basic and applied research worldwide. However, controlling the electron movement within a few nanometres, let alone developing the manufacturing process for these integrated circuits, has been met with significant technical challenges.

The research team used the fact that the mirror twin boundary (MTB) of molybdenum disulfide (MoS₂), a 2D semiconductor, is a 1D metal with a width of only 0.4 nm. They used this as a gate electrode to overcome the limitations of the lithography process.

The 1D MTB metallic phase was achieved by controlling the crystal structure of the existing 2D semiconductor at the atomic level, transforming it into a 1D MTB. This represents a significant breakthrough not only for next-generation semiconductor technology but also for basic materials science, as it demonstrates the large-area synthesis of new material phases through artificial control of crystal structures.

The sub 1nm size of the 1D MTB transistor developed by the research team also offers advantages in circuit performance. Technologies such as FinFET, Gate-All-Around or CFET suffer from parasitic capacitance due to their complex device structures, leading to instability in highly integrated circuits. In contrast, the 1D MTB-based transistor can minimize parasitic capacitance due to its simple structure and extremely narrow gate width.

“The 1D metallic phase achieved through epitaxial growth is a new material process that can be applied to ultra-miniaturized semiconductor processes. It is expected to become a key technology for developing various low-power, high-performance electronic devices in the future,” said JO Moon-Ho.



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