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Nanosheets: IBM’s Path to 5-Nanometer Transistors

September 17, 2017 - 3:45am
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> IBM says their stacked nanosheet transistors will give circuit designers more flexibility Photo: IBM Researchers at IBM believe the future of the transistor is in stacked nanosheets. After a decade of research, most recently in partnership with Samsung and Global Foundries, the company will describe 5-nanometer node test chips based on these transistors today at the Symposium on VLSI Technology and Circuits in Kyoto. Today’s state-of-the-art transistor is the finFET, named for the fin-like ridges of current-carrying silicon that project from the chip’s surface. The silicon fins are surrounded on their three exposed sides by a structure called the gate. The gate switches the flow of current on, and prevents electrons from leaking out when the transistor is off. This design is expected to last from this year’s bleeding-edge process technology, the “10-nanometer” node, through the next node, 7 nanometers. But any smaller, and these transistors will become difficult to switch off: electrons will leak out, even with the three-sided gates. So the semiconductor industry has been working on alternatives for the upcoming 5 nanometer node. One popular idea is to use lateral silicon nanowires that are completely surrounded by the gate, preventing electron leaks and saving power. This design is called “gate all around.” IBM’s new design is a variation on this. In their test chips, each transistor is made up of three stacked horizontal sheets of silicon, each only a few nanometers thick and completely surrounded by a gate. Why a sheet instead of a wire? Huiming Bu, director of silicon integration and devices at IBM, says nanosheets can bring back one of the benefits of pre-finFET, planar designs. Designers used to be able to vary the width of a transistor to prioritize fast operations or energy efficiency. Varying the amount of silicon in a finFET transistor is not practicable because it would mean making some fins taller and other shorter. Fins must all be the same height due to manufacturing constraints, says Bu. IBM’s nanosheets can range from 8 to 50 nanometers in width. “Wider gives you better performance but takes more power, smaller width relaxes performance but reduces power use,” says Bu. This will allow circuit designers to pick and choose what they need, whether they are making a power efficient mobile chip processor or designing a bank of SRAM memory. “We are bringing flexibility back to the designers,” he says. The test chips have 30 billion transistors. The company has not benchmarked them against 7 nanometer designs, since those are not on the market. Compared to 10 nanometer chips, the new designs have a 40 percent performance enhancement at a given power; at matched performance, they can save 75 percent on power. Mukesh Khare, vice president of semiconductor technology and research at IBM, says that the company has spent years working on the process technology and materials for making stacked nanosheets. The research chips were made using electron-beam lithography—a technology too expensive for mass production. But by the time 5-nanometer chips go into production extreme-ultraviolet lithography (EUV) will be available to reduce costs, according to Khare. He says that it takes the same number of EUV lithography masks—the patterns to be projected onto to the chip to form transistor components—to make a 5-nanometer nanosheet transistor as it does to make an equivalent finFET. IBM plans to offer this technology to their customers at the 5-nanometer node. “We think this will become the prevalent structure beyond finFET,” says Khare. 
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Making flexible electronics with nanowire networks

September 17, 2017 - 3:45am
A smartphone touchscreen is an impressive piece of technology. It displays information and responds to a user's touch. But as many people know, it's easy to break key elements of the transparent, electrically conductive layers that make up even the sturdiest rigid touchscreen. If flexible smartphones, e-paper and a new generation of smart watches are to succeed, they can't use existing touchscreen technology.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Transforming greenhouse gas CO2 into carbon nanotubes

September 17, 2017 - 3:45am
In two new studies, researchers show that cement plants can have their carbon dioxide exhaust eliminated while co-producing carbon nanotubes. They demonstrate that with their C2CNT (carbon dioxide into carbon nanotubes) process, a wide portfolio of tailored carbon nanotubes, such as those with special shapes or conductivity can be made. C2CNT is a straightforward process that transforms CO2 to carbon nanotubes by molten electrolysis with inexpensive (nickel and steel) electrodes and low voltage. This synthesis consumes only CO2 and electricity, and is constrained only by the cost of electricity.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

2016 National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Whitman, Lloyd J. and Henderson, Lori A. and Meador, Michael A. and Friedersdorf, Lisa E. and Standridge, Stacey and Thomas, Treye and Howard, John and Biaggi-Labiosa, Azlin M. and Madsen, Lynnette D. and Cannizzaro, Chris and Jillavenkatesa, Ajit and Bobalek, John F.. National Science and Technology Council, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee. (2016) 2016 National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan. Technical Report. United States National Nanotechnology Initiative. (Unpublished)
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Nano Nugget featuring Paul Weiss

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Date: Fri, 10/14/2016Paul Weiss, Editor-in-Chief of ACS Nano, discusses the exciting potential impacts of nanotechnology at the intersection of other fields. This video was produced by the American Chemical Society. Education center: OffEducation center weight: 0Research centers & networks: OffResearch centers & networks weight: 0Connect with Nano.gov: OffConnect with Nano.gov weight: 0Stay connected with the NNI: OffNews: Nano TV/RadioStay connected with the NNI weight: 0Nanotechnology facts: OffNanotechnology facts weight: 0Catch all weight: 0Featured: offDr. Weiss discusses nanotechnology's impact on other fields. This video was produced by the American Chemical Society.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Nano Nugget featuring Chad Mirkin

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Date: Fri, 10/14/2016Chad Mirkin, Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, discusses his research and some promising areas of nanotechnology. This video was produced by the American Chemical Society. Education center: OffEducation center weight: 0Research centers & networks: OffResearch centers & networks weight: 0Connect with Nano.gov: OffConnect with Nano.gov weight: 0Stay connected with the NNI: OffNews: Nano TV/RadioStay connected with the NNI weight: 0Nanotechnology facts: OffNanotechnology facts weight: 0Catch all weight: 0Featured: offDr. Mirkin discusses some promising areas of nanotechnology. This video was produced by the American Chemical Society.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

At UChicago's Nanofabrication Facility, Innovation Happens on a Molecular Scale - Chicago Inno

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
At UChicago's Nanofabrication Facility, Innovation Happens on a Molecular ScaleChicago InnoThis February UChicago's Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME) opened the 10,000 square foot Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility, which features fabrication tools that allow researchers and industry to create and experiment with materials that make ...
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Wearable health monitor based on household paper

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Paper electronics - putting flexible electronic sensors and other circuits on regular paper - have the potential to cut the price of a wide range of medical tools, from point-of-care diagnostic tests to portable DNA detectors. In new work, researchers have now shown an integration strategy to rationally design an ultra-low cost health monitoring device, a Paper Watch, using recyclable household materials: non-functionalized papers.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

New waterproofing and antifouling nanomaterials

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
A new class of nanomaterials with tunable wettability have important applications ranging from antifouling to water proofing surfaces.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

New fabric nanocoating could thwart chemical weapons

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Scientists have developed a way to adhere a lightweight coating onto fabrics that is capable of neutralizing a subclass of chemical weapons - those that are delivered through the skin.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Building OLEDs from the ground up for better electronics

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Researchers introduce a new way to efficiently create patterns of OLEDs.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

The first low-cost system for splitting carbon dioxide

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Scientists have developed an Earth-abundant catalyst based on copper-oxide nanowires modified with tin oxide. A solar-driven system set up using this catalyst was able to split CO2 with an efficiency of 13.4%.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Self-healing, highly sensitive nanostructured electronic sensors

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Researchers have developed a facile and effective approach to fabricate spontaneous self-healing and highly sensitive sensors based on metal?ligand coordination and hierarchical structure design.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Conductive ink improves mechanical durability of printed e-textiles

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Researchers have developed textile-permeable viscous ink which can be directly screen/stencil printed on textile substrates. This conductive composite enables highly conductive and stretchable wirings on textile with a simple and inexpensive way.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

New Method for Producing Ultralight Sponge-Like Materials from Nanoscale Ceramic Fibers

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Ceramic materials are likely to shatter when they are deformed, however latest research demonstrates a technique of using ultra-thin ceramic nanofibers in order to make heat-resistant, squishy sponges...
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Tricking molecules into creating new nano-shapes

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Scientists have devised materials that can create complex three-dimensional structures. They did it by exploiting how molecules self-assemble, spontaneously packing into nano-sized shapes.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

A low-tech, solution-based route to high-performance carbon nanotube thin films

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
This novel method produces a film with millions of carbon nanotubes aligned and tightly packed, like water pipes on a flatbed truck. The tubes are orders of magnitude better aligned than previously possible.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

Copper embedded in carbon nano-spikes can turn carbon dioxide into ethanol

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Scientists found that tiny spikes of carbon combined with copper particles convert carbon dioxide into ethanol fuel. The catalysts take a waste product of coal used in power plants and other hydrocarbon combustion reactions, in the presence of electrical energy, and create liquid fuel.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

3D printer nanoinks from the woods (w/video)

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
Researchers have succeeded in developing an environmentally friendly ink for 3D printing based on cellulose nanocrystals. This technology can be used to fabricate microstructures with outstanding mechanical properties, which have promising potential uses in implants and other biomedical applications.
Categories: Nanotechnology News

EPA Will Publish Draft Guidance for Reporting Nanoscale Materials for Comment

August 30, 2017 - 3:45am
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to publish a Federal Register notice on May 16, 2017, announcing the availability of and requesting public comment on a draft guidance document entitled “Guidance on EPA’s Section 8(a) Information Gathering Rule on Nanomaterials in Commerce.”  EPA states in the pre-publication notice that the guidance provides answers to questions EPA has received from manufacturers (includes importers) and processors of certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale as described in the January 12, 2017, final rule.  The final rule involves one-time reporting for existing discrete forms of certain nanoscale materials, and a standing one-time reporting requirement for new discrete forms of certain nanoscale materials.  The notice lists the following North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes to help readers determine whether the document may apply to them: Chemical Manufacturing or Processing (NAICS Code 325); Synthetic Dye and Pigment Manufacturing (NAICS Code 325130); Other Basic Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing (NAICS Code 325180); Rolled Steel Shape Manufacturing (NAICS Code 331221); Semiconductor and Related Device Manufacturing (NAICS Code 334413); Carbon and Graphite Product Manufacturing (NAICS Code 335991); Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS Code 423220); Roofing, Sliding, and Insulation Material Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS Code 423330); and Metal Service Centers and Other Metal Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS Code 423510). EPA states that it will make the draft guidance available on its website at https://www.epa.gov/reviewing-new-chemicals-under-toxic-substances-control-act-tsca/control-nanoscale-materials-under#guidance, and will also be available in Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0572.  EPA states that it will accept comments regarding the guidance, but not regarding the rule itself, “which has already been finalized.”  Comments will be due 30 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register.  More information regarding the final rule is available in our January 12, 2017, memorandum, “EPA Promulgates Final TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule for Nanoscale Materials
Categories: Nanotechnology News