Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Reducing lithography nanopatterns to 6 nanometers in size

Vadim Sidorkin, a researcher from TU Delft in Netherlands, is the first in the world to succeed in patterning a substrate with markings only 6 nanometres in size and only 14 nanometres apart.

The spacing of 14 nanometers that Sidorkin achieved could increase the data storage capacity of memory chips by a factor ten.

Sidorkin researched into creating the smallest possible structures using electron beams and ion beams. At the present time the industry generally uses light beams to etch extremely small structures onto semiconductor material, for instance in the manufacture of computer chips. Sidorkin used a Helium Ion Microscope (HIM) to create helium beams, and using this technique he was able to draw dots having a diameter of only six nanometres.

Sidorkin compared the performance of the helium ion beam with an electron beam, and found that using helium ions made it possible to etch structures much closer together. Since helium ions are larger and heavier than electrons, they can be fired at the substrate surface with less speed and still deliver the same collision energy. As the result helium ions also do much less damage to the surrounding material, because they rebound less far off the surface and penetrate sideways less far into the structure itself.

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July 16, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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