31 Jan '12, 6pm

Self-Assembly Takes Shape

Self-Assembly Takes Shape

Image: Emily Cooper Click on image for a larger view. Engineers in California have made an important advance in a technique that could help chipmakers create denser and cheaper integrated circuits. It might also extend the life of the traditional lithography process. With a method called directed self-assembly, the engineers were able to pattern contact holes for transistors in memory and logic circuits. Today’s chips are made using lithographic tools that expose photosensitive materials to light with a 193-nanometer wavelength. But this approach has become increasingly challenging, especially when it comes to making the holes in which the electrical contacts to transistors are formed. Currently, holes are created from the intersection of two etched lines, a process that typically requires two separate lithographic steps and has become increasingly inaccurate as chip featu...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/nanotechnology/se...

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