Pictured: a Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) machine, built by EPI MBE Products Group, St. Paul, Minn.
The Department of Electrical Engineering has two new research laboratories slated for nanoscale research and applications. Both labs are coordinated by Associate Professor C.H. Yang, funded by the Department of Defense, and will be completed this summer.
Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) Facility
The Molecular Beam Epitaxy Facility (MBE) will feature research in ultrasmall quantum transistors. It will be equipped with an MBE system that has multiple molecular sources.
Researchers in this lab will investigate new nanometer-sized transistors for future VLSI applications. An MBE machine allows for the growth of heterojunctions with precise control over one atomic layer. With this system, multiple layers only nanometers in thickness can display strong quantum effects, even at room temperature.
The system will be used specifically for the growth of device-quality silicon, germanium, and silicides on silicon. In addition, the system will have effusion cells and a few important in situ analytical tools, including the RHEED (Reflective High Energy Electron Diffraction) for surface structural identification and optical bandgap transmission spectrometer - for monitoring the substrate temperature.
Yang plans to realize the World’s Smallest MOSFETs using the silicide/silicon heterojunctions. If successful, the results will bring a significant impact to the highly competitive IC industry.
Electron-Beam Lithography Facility
The Electron-Beam Lithography facility, equipped with a scanning electron microscope and a computer-controlled electron-beam steering system, will be used to manufacture nanometer-sized devices.
Although conventional photolithography can transfer a pattern on the photomask to the (silicon) wafers with a resolution of (approximately) the optical wavelength, by using a tightly-focused electron beam to directly expose an electron-sensitive resist, a much higher resolution is possible. The electron-beam steering system will enable this type of lithogarphy.
Researchers in this lab will fabricate nanometer-scale devices, including quantum wires, quantum dots, and three-terminal quantum transistors.
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