Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the U.S. Army Research Office have developed a method, called film epitaxy, to integrate novel functional materials onto a computer chip, enabling the creation of new smart devices and systems.
The new functional materials are oxides, including several materials that previously could not be integrated onto silicon chips. The materials include multiferroic materials with both ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties, topological insulators that act as insulators in bulk but have conductive properties on their surface, and novel ferroelectric materials.
"We are now able to integrate these materials onto a silicon chip, allowing us to incorporate their functions into electronic devices," says NCSU professor Jay Narayan. He notes this approach enables the researchers to integrate the materials onto two platforms: titanium nitride, and yttria-stabilized zirconia.
The researchers developed a suite of thin films that act as a buffer, connecting the silicon chip to the relevant novel materials. "This allows us to sense or collect data; to manipulate that data; and to calculate a response--all on one compact chip," Narayan says.
From NCSU News
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