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Förslaget inkom 2006-06-29

Investigation of temperature dependence of current instabilities in silicon nanoscale electrodes for molecular interconnect.

At the laboratory of Solid State Electronics at Chalmers, we are performing research on silicon nanogaps that are to be used to connect electrically active organic molecules. The nanogaps are a pair of electrodes with 4 nm spacing. With suitable organic molecules connected, resonant tunneling diodes can be made. These can be used to improve the performance of computer memory cells.

An important issue for the developement of nanotechnology and molecular
electronics is the integration to standard silicon electronics (CMOS). The nanogaps are manufactured in our state-of-the-art cleanroom by using CMOS compatible processing equipment. A thin (4 nm) insulating layer is sandwiched between two silicon layers, and is then partially removed by using a selective etchant. This results in a well defined gap between the two silicon electrodes.

When activating the devices by using the selective etchant (a chemical
treatment), parasitic current instabilities apperar. These instabilities are unwanted, and limit the sensitivity of the devices.

Goal of the project
Develop a model describing the currents instabilities for different
temperatures and after different chemical treatments. Suggest ways to reduce these instabilities in order to increase the sensitivity of the silicon nanogaps.

Method / organization
* Litterature study
* Measure current instabilities after activation, develope a standardised measurement scheme.
* Perform low-temperature measurements using a cryostat (down to 40 K).
* Try annealing (heat treatment) or stress with constant voltage to 'burn' residuals that might be the reason for the instabilities.
* Develop a theoretical model for the current instabilities, and suggest
ways to reduce the impact of these.

The results should be presented in a written report and in a seminar.

The Department
The Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2) is divided into 6
laboratories. MC2 occupies a new building designed for research in
microtechnology. The building houses, among other facilities, a cleanroom that has one thousand square metres of workspace. Some two hundred researchers that are currently active at MC2 have access to the world's most advanced devices, installations and techniques. The department graduates around 10 PhDs and 10 Licentiate of Engineering every year. The department also takes part in the undergraduate education for the programs in Engineering Physics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering.

The research at the Laboratory of Solid State Electronics is specialised on silicon and silicon related materials and devices.


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