Progress reported in the manufacture of nanochips.

A one-atom layer of molybdenum disulfide with electrodes modeled by hot nano-tip in a new process called lithography with thermal scanning probe. Researchers at NYU's Tandon Engineering School invented the process to produce high quality semiconductors at a significantly lower cost than current electron beam lithography. Credit: NYU Tandon

An international team of researchers has reported a breakthrough in the manufacture of fine-atom processors, a discovery that could have far-reaching impacts on the production of nanoscale chips and in laboratories around the world where scientists are exploring 2D materials to obtain increasingly smaller and faster materials. semiconductors.

The team, led by Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Tandon of the University of New York, Elisa Riedo, described the results of the research in the latest issue of Nature Electronics.

They showed that lithography with a probe heated to more than 100 degrees Celsius exceeded the standard methods for manufacturing metal electrodes in 2D semiconductors such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). These transition metals are among the materials that scientists believe can replace silicon for atomically small chips. The new method of manufacturing the equipment, called lithography by thermal scanning probe (t-SPL), offers a number of advantages over today's electron beam lithography (EBL).

First, thermal lithography significantly improves the quality of 2-D transistors, compensating the Schottky barrier, which hinders the flow of electrons at the intersection of the metal and the 2-D substrate. In addition, unlike the EBL, thermal lithography allows chip designers to easily visualize the 2-D semiconductor and then model the electrodes where desired. In addition, the t-SPL manufacturing systems promise significant initial savings, as well as operating costs: they drastically reduce energy consumption by operating in environmental conditions, eliminating the need to produce high-energy electrons and generate an ultra-high vacuum. Finally, this thermal manufacturing method can be easily extended for industrial production by using parallel thermal probes.

At the PicoForce laboratory of the Tandon School of Engineering at the University of New York, Professor Elisa Riedo and PhD student Xiangyu Liu manufacture high quality 2D chips using the lithography process of the thermal scan probe they invented and the NanoFrazor equipment. of SwissLitho. The process is promising as an alternative to today's electron beam lithography. Credit: NYU Tandon

Riedo expressed the hope that t-SPL will take most of the manufacturing of the few clean rooms, where researchers must compete for time with expensive equipment, and to individual laboratories, where they could quickly advance in materials science and the design of chips. The precedent of 3-D printers is an appropriate badogy: someday these t-SPL tools with a resolution of less than 10 nanometers, which operate with a standard power of 120 volts under ambient conditions, could become equally ubiquitous in research laboratories as yours.

In the January 2019 edition of "MoS2 monolayer metal contact patterns with Schottky barriers that disappear using thermal nanolithography" appears in Nature Electronics and can be accessed at with an badysis of "News and Opinions" at -0197 -7

Riedo's work on thermal sensors goes back more than a decade, first with IBM Research, Zurich and later with SwissLitho, founded by former IBM researchers. A process based on a SwissLitho system was developed and used for current research. He began to explore thermal lithography for nanofabrication of metals at the Advanced Science Research Center of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), working together with the coauthors of the article, Xiaorui Zheng and Annalisa Calò, who are now researchers doctoral students at NYU Tandon; and Edoardo Albisetti, who worked on the Riedo team with a Marie Curie scholarship.

Explore further:
The team works on reconfigurable magnetic nanopatterns.

More information:
Xiaorui Zheng et al, Pattern of metal contacts in MoS2 monolayer with Schottky barriers that disappear by thermal nanolithography, Nature Electronics (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41928-018-0191-0

Journal reference:
Nature Electronics

Provided by:
NYU Tandon Engineering School

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