Researchers Fabricate 2.5 Nanometer Transistors


Staff member
Mar 3, 2018
Researchers from the University of Colorado and MIT claim to have fabricated the smallest 3D transistors ever. The engineers used a relatively new process called thermal atomic layer etching to create FinFET transistors on an indium gallium arsenide base. The researchers claim their transistors performed about 60 percent better that traditional FinFETs in a "transconductance" test, which measures how much energy it takes for a transistor to switch on and off, and that the transistors are "as narrow as 2.5 nanometers."

In experiments, the researchers removed just .02 nanometers from the material's surface at a time. "You're kind of peeling an onion, layer by layer," Lu says. "In each cycle, we can etch away just 2 percent of a nanometer of a material. That gives us super high accuracy and careful control of the process." Because the technique is so similar to ALD, "you can integrate this thermal ALE into the same reactor where you work on deposition," del Alamo says. It just requires a "small redesign of the deposition tool to handle new gases to do deposition immediately after etching... That's very attractive to industry."
We need to figure how to have these things grow themselves. Kinda like the drunken pub crawler problem but not drunken, in a bath of required atoms.
"Easy" when you're only making one or a few. More difficult when you have millions or billions shoulder to shoulder.
That's the benefit of TRL-1 work, it doesn't have to be economically viable or realisable at mass production, just that it is viable.

What gets overlooked with these far out papers is the new methods created to realise this, these new methods have more use today then the farout tech created
So the width of this thing is like 2 to 4 atoms?

Fucking nuts.

You have to be grateful for the people who have built modern times in the past 70 years, there are people sitting in a room somewhere where they have dedicated their lives to calculations and trial and error to make this shit work.
This is gallium arsenide which has different rules.

GaAs would be an amazing improvement overall as it has better electron mobility than silicon, but unfortunately it's much more expensive.