Prof. Udo Schwalke: The Black Future of Nanoelectronics: From Silicon to Carbon?


Like no other technology, integrated electronics has changed our daily life and silicon has been the ultimate semiconductor material in micro- and nanoelectronics for more than 50 years. The continuous down-scaling of silicon CMOS devices provides the basis of the tremendous progress in information technology. Without silicon CMOS, the rich multimedia experience we enjoy today when using the internet, mobile phones or tablet PCs would not have been possible. Microelectronics has already completed the transition into nanoelectronics, i.e. state-of-the-art silicon CMOS technologies are utilizing sub-100 nm feature sizes. This continuous top-down miniaturization of silicon-based nanoelectronics is expected to continue into the sub-10 nm range. However, the use of pure silicon based devices will come to an end when CMOS downscaling will soon reach its physical limits. In order to gain performance, new materials with high carrier mobility are required. For the post-silicon CMOS era, hexagonal carbon seems to be a promising alternative to build high performance electronic devices. For example, carbon nanotube field-effect transistors (CNTFETs) can be used as active devices in integrated circuits like CPUs and memory cells as well. More recently, another hexagonal carbon modification became the focus of scientific attention: graphene. Just a few years after the Nobel Prize Award in 2010 for the graphene discovery, graphene-based transistors are emerging as other potential candidates to extend and eventually replace the traditional silicon MOSFET.

This presentation will first provide a brief overview on silicon CMOS, the past, present and future challenges when downscaled to its limits. Subsequently, we will focus on carbon-based nanoelectronics as a possible solution and the recent progress achieved in this field.


Date: 05.12.2014
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Room: H-E 110