Russian scientists have developed a new technology to create high-performance integrated circuits


Employees REC "Quantum devices and nanotechnology" LPI, MIET developed technology of high-speed electronic component base of a new generation on the basis of quantum effects of resonant tunneling. It is a technology monolithic planar integration of resonant tunneling diodes, FETs and Schottky diodes. It can significantly improve performance by reducing the number of active elements of digital integrated circuits and is fully compatible with standard technology gallium arsenide integrated circuits.

The history of solid-state electronics began with the invention of the transistor in 1947. Since the development of the electronics goes towards improving the performance and increase the packaging density of active devices in an integrated circuit, which is achieved by reducing the sizes of their characteristic. At this more than half a century the way were solved essentially technological problem, but in the coming years are expected to appear difficulties of a fundamental nature, which are due to the fact that the dimensions of devices decreased so much that reached values of wavelength of an electron in a semiconductor, that is several tens of nanometers.

"If the electron wavelength becomes comparable with the characteristic size of the device, for example, the size of the gate of the FET, the electron behaves like a wave — arise phenomena of interference and diffraction. The flow of electrons in such a device is not described by a simple hydrodynamic model, like a stream of water into the pipe with a crane, whose role in the transistor gate performs. There are other analogies are appropriate, for example, the propagation of waves on the water surface. If transverse to the direction of wave propagation to place a flat plate — similar to the gate field-effect transistor, the waves are partially reflected from the plate and take shape with falling waves — the phenomenon of interference, and partly to bend around the plate and move on — the phenomenon of diffraction. And the big question is — and whether it will be a device to work as a transistor? Or will result in a "toy" for some advanced physicists having no practical importance? ", — Says the head of the laboratory of molecular-beam epitaxy LPI, Candidate of Physics and Mathematics. Sciences Igor Kazakov.

To exit out of the current situation, a transition to a new physical principles and the three-dimensional integration of devices in an integrated circuit. Staff Research and Education Center "Quantum devices and nanotechnology" LPI-MIET under the guidance of Academician Yury Kopaeva and corresponding member of the Alexander A. Gorbatsevich develop the direction of the quantum-classical integrated circuits. This trend implies that the electronic devices operating on the classical physical principles — for example, tranzistry and diodes — are monolithically integrated with the devices built on the principles of quantum resonant tunneling — resonant tunneling diodes, superlattices.

"Integrated" — means "located on the same integrated circuit" and "monolithic" — that is "made in the amount of one semiconductor die." Unlike the hybrid technology where individual devices ready "glued" to the integrated circuit, monolithic integrated structures which are obtained in the epitaxial growth more promising. They provide a higher packing density of devices, allow to get rid of small structural elements, interconnects, and apply the most productive group methods of making integrated circuits ", — Says Igor Petrovich.

One of the most promising directions in functionally integrated electronics is the use of the effect of resonant tunneling. This is the direction in solid state electronics achieved world records for speed, comparable to the speed of superconducting devices. The simplest electronic device of this type is a resonant tunneling diode (RTD), which has the ability to instantaneously (in a time of 1 ps) to switch from one stable state to another due to a kind of current-voltage characteristics (CVC), which has N-shaped.


The current-voltage characteristics of resonant tunneling diodes

Importantly, to achieve such high speed possibly RTD, the lateral dimensions of the order of 0.1 microns and not tens of nanometers as valves modern FETs. This allows you to create devices with high speed even on the equipment of 20 years ago.

"For Russia, this is to some extent a chance to shine in the world’s advanced development of hardware components of electronics, where our positions 60 and 70 years, as the country of origin is the whole range of electronic civil and military, have been lost. In the entire history of the self-sufficient "electronic empires," there were only two — the USSR and the USA, Japan, even in the military electronics them inferior. And if in terms of technology, we are now so far behind that simply is not economically viable to "raise everything from scratch," relying only on their development, the physical school, we still remained at a high level ", — Kazakov said.

Thus, in a functionally integrated circuit elements RTD / transistor can be designed with fewer components have a higher speed and lower power consumption than circuits for transistors. Research on the functional integration of resonant tunneling diodes, FETs and Schottky diodes require the development of complex technology and metrology methods and devices that provide growing GaAs heterostructures based on quality with continuous monitoring of the growth surface and the subsequent production of integrated circuits based on them. In the REC LPI-MIET such a complex is created, and has created the first prototypes of the basic elements of digital integrated circuits — the inverter and the comparator. One of the most important results of this work is the development of optical techniques for monitoring the growth process of semiconductor heterostructures with a thickness of the individual layers of less than 5 nm using anisotropic reflections, allowing you to control the thickness with a resolution of 1 monolayer in real time, which is essential for the production of RTD. This work has been featured FIAN physicists among the most significant achievements obtained in the world, using equipment manufactured by LayTec (for this we used a spectrometer EpiRAS IR TT firm LayTec, mounted on FIAN installation molecular beam epitaxy).
Currently, the Physics Institute. PN Lebedev is building of new premises for the laboratory of molecular-beam epitaxy with the most modern technological equipment and the required level of purity (class of 1000 with local zones of class 100). This extra clean room will be available two modern setting MBE firm RIBER for growing semiconductor heterostructures and plant for the production of liquid nitrogen.

In the aggregate level of technical equipment and cleanroom analogues such laboratory in Russia.

/ 15.11.2011 / On materials ANI "LPI-Inform"

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