Open Questions: Advanced Electronic Technolgy

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See also: Quantum effects technology -- Digital storage technology -- Optical and optoelectronic technology

Introduction

Semiconductor fabrication technology

Nanoscale electronics

Organic electronics

Molecular electronics

Ultradense memory technology

Spintronics


Recommended references: Web sites

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Recommended references: Books

Introduction


Semiconductor fabrication technology

Extreme ultraviolet lithography

Electron projection lithography

X-ray lithography

Ion projection lithography



Recommended references: Web sites

Site indexes


Sites with general resources

International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors
The ITRS is a planning document produced by a cooperative effort of semiconductor industry members, government organizations, and research organizations to chart the future of semiconductor technology. Report is available for download in PDF format.
IC Knowledge
A commercial site on semiconductor technology with several interesting features: a bioliography of IC technology, a glossary of terms, and information on technology trends.


Surveys, overviews, tutorials

Semiconductor device fabrication
Article from Wikipedia. See also Moore's law.
Spintronics
Article from Wikipedia.
New era for quantum electronics
June 2001 article from Physics World, by Michel Devoret. "Researchers have created a device that can manipulate single electronic charges in silicon, a breakthrough that could satisfy the computer industry's demand for faster and denser chips."
EUV Lithography Making Possible Next Generation of Semiconductors
June 5, 2001 article from LBL's Science Beat. Contains a presentation of the contributions to extreme-UV lithography by the lab's Center for X-ray Optics.
Introduction to Electron Beam Lithography
Very good technical overview of the subject, by the Henderson Research Group (Georgia Institute of Technology).
Single-electron transistors
September 1998 article from Physics World, by Michel Devoret and Christian Glattli. "While the electronics industry wonders what will happen when transistors become so small that quantum effects become important, researchers are building new transistors that actively exploit the quantum properties of electrons."
Atoms join in the race for lithography in the next century
August 1998 article from Physics World, by Jabez McClellan. "An impressive technology has been developing since the 1960s to make the tiny electronic devices that form the basic circuits in today's computer chips. ... But many experts say that the steady increases in circuit density will come to an abrupt halt if we do not come up with some radical new ideas."
Electronics put it on plastic
October 1998 article from Physics World, by Campbell Scott. "Plastic materials are now being created with increasingly useful electronic and optical properties. These developments extend the application of plastics beyond the familiar garden furniture, toys and plumbing, and into "smart" electronic devices such as identification tags, programmable credit cards and flat-panel displays."
The Origin, Nature, and Implications of Moore's Law
Long, detailed September 1996 paper by Bob Schaller that considers Moore's Law from a technology policy perspective. "This study will examine the development and evolution of semiconductor electronics, and in particular attempt to more completely explain 'Moore's Law'."
The Incredible Shrinking Computer Chip
December 2007 Scientific American articlette, subtitled "New technology will allow increasingly compact cell phones, PCs to harness massively powerful microprocessors."
The Magic Ingredients in Intel's New, Tinier Transistor
January 2007 Scientific American articlette, subtitled "Researchers predict the materials Intel and IBM may have chosen to make their just-announced ultrasmall transistors."


Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Crossbar Nanocomputers
Philip J. Kuekes; Gregory S. Snider; R. Stanley Williams
Scientific American, November 2005
The First Nanochips
G. Dan Hutcheson
Scientific American, April 2004
"As scientists and engineers continue to push back the limits of chipmaking technology, they have quietly entered into the nanometer realm."
Plastic Electric
Jessica Gorman
Science News, May 17, 2003
Lining up the future of conducting polymers.
Lightning Rods for Nanoelectronics
Steven H. Voldman
Scientific American, October 2002, pp.
One of the barriers to much further miniturization of electronic circuits is the damage caused by electrostaic discharge.
Shrinking toward the Ultimate Transistor
Peter Weiss
Science News, August 10, 2002, pp. 88-89
Just how small a transistor can be is the important question. Researchers have recently created devices in which transistor action seems to occur in individual atoms.
Motorola's Superchip
Ivan Amato
Technology Review, April 2002, pp. 72-77
Silicon is the cheapest and easiest material available for fabricating semiconductor chips, but other substances such as gallium arsenide and indium phosphide can make faster and more versatile chips. Motorola may have found a way to make chips that combine the advantages of silicon and its alternatives.
A Vertical Leap for Microchips
Thomas H. Lee
Scientific American, January 2002, pp. 52-59
A new technique has been developed to extend Moore's Law even farther into the future. New manufacturing processes allow for making memory and other types of chips in which transistors are arranged in multiple layers -- initially 8, and eventually 16 or more.
The Incredible Shrinking Circuit
Charles M. Lieber
Scientific American, September 2001, pp. 58-64
Researchers have begun to create nanoscale electronic components such as transistors, diodes, resistors, and logic gates. The next step is to connect them in order to assemble useful nanoelectronic circuits. The process may resemble chemistry more than it does existing manufacturing techniques.
Getting Nanowired
Linda Wang
Science News, May 5, 2001, pp. 286-287
Prototypes of simple electronic components such as diodes and transistors have been made from nanowires. The next question is whether they can be integrated into funcioning electronic circuits.
[References]
Getting More from Moore's
Gary Stix
Scientific American, April 2001, pp. 32-36
Intel, along with other industry partners, is ambitiously pushing the development of extreme ultraviolet lithography through a "Virtual National Laboratory" that involves researchers at several national laboratories. The goal is to allow fabrication of microcircuits with feature sizes at the limits of semiconductor technology.
When the Chips Are Down
Laura Sivitz
Science News, November 25, 2000, pp. 350-351
Moore's law can't hold indefinitely. Replacements for silicon chip technology are being sought in "molecular electronics" and biological compounds like peptides and DNA.
The End of Moore's Law?
Charles C. Mann
Technology Review, May-June 2000, pp. 42-48
The "law" of approximately exponential increase in electronic circuit density has held good for 35 years. But Its future longevity is in some doubt due to various problems, such as unwanted clumping of "dopants" added to the silicon chips and unpredictable quantum effects in increasingly smaller chip gates.
Chips Go Nano
David Voss
Technology Review, March-April 1999, pp. 55-57
There is a barrier at around 100 nanometers for the feature size that can be etched on silicon chips using current state-of-the-art deep ultraviolet lithography. Smaller features will require entirely new technology, such as extreme ultraviolet lithography or electron beam lithography.
Technology and Economics in the Semiconductor Industry
G. Dan Hutcheson; Jerry D. Hutcheson
Scientific American, January 1996, pp. 54-62
Technical difficulties of many kinds arise in producing chips with increasingly large number of transistors and smaller feature sizes. But prediction of when fundamental limits will be reached or what will happen then is also difficult.
Toward "Point One"
Gary Stix
Scientific American, February 1995, pp. 90-95
"Point one" refers to the size, .1 microns, that seems to be the smallest semiconductor feature size that can be made using extensions of existing ultraviolet photolithography. This limit will not be easy to approach, and supassing it will require radically new technologies.


Recommended references: Books


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