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Slimmer, stickier nanorods give boost to 3-D computer chips
Date:3/17/2009

Troy, N.Y. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new technique for growing slimmer copper nanorods, a key step for advancing integrated 3-D chip technology.

These thinner copper nanorods fuse together, or anneal, at about 300 degrees Celsius. This relatively low annealing temperature could make the nanorods ideal for use in heat-sensitive nanoelectronics, particularly for "gluing" together the stacked components of 3-D computer chips.

"When fabricating and assembling 3-D chips, and when bonding the silicon wafers together, you want as low a temperature as possible," said Pei-I Wang, research associate at Rensselaer's Center for Integrated Electronics. "Slimmer nanorods, by virtue of their smaller diameters, require less heat to anneal. These lower temperatures won't damage or degrade the delicate semiconductors. The end result is a less expensive, more reliable device."

Experimental 3-D computer chips are comprised of several layers of stacked components. Wang said these layers can be coated with thin nanorods, and then heated up to 300 degrees Celsius. Around that temperature, the thin nanorods anneal, turn into a continuous thin film, and fuse the layers together. This study was the first demonstration of slimmer nanorods enabling wafer bonding, according to Wang.

Fundamental research concerning the slimmer nanorods was led by Toh-Ming Lu, the R.P. Baker Distinguished Professor of Physics at Rensselaer. Results of the study were recently published in the journal Nanotechnology.

Research into wafer bonding and incorporating the slimmer nanorods into 3-D integrated computer chips was led by James Jian-Qiang Lu, associate professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering (ECSE) and the Center for Integrated Electronics (CIE) at Rensselaer. Results of the study were recently published in the journal Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters.


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Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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