Researchers from Rice University and North Carolina State University say that Moore's Law could be prolonged by attaching molecules to the surface of silicon. Electronics manufacturers use doping to pack more transistors onto integrated circuits, but mixing in dopant atoms has become more difficult at the nanometer scale. The researchers' monolayer molecular grafting process could involve bonding carbon molecules with silicon either through a chemical bath or evaporation.
"We're putting an even layer of molecules on the surface," says Rice professor James Tour. "These are not doping in the same way traditional dopants do, but they're effectively doing the same thing." Tour expects the silicon industry to show considerable interest in monolayer molecular grafting.
"This is a nice entry point for molecules into the silicon industry," he says. "This gives the Intels and the Microns and the Samsungs of the world another tool to try, and I guarantee you they'll be trying this."
From Rice University
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