September 30, 2004 – The Interuniversities Microelectronics Center (IMEC) has launched a new program to find ways nanotechnology can replace and/or extend the life of advanced CMOS manufacturing technologies. The European research consortium’s new industrial affiliation program will seek alternatives to scaling in order to reduce device dimensions, as well as investigate “disruptive” technologies for semiconductor manufacturing processes.
Areas of research will include using semiconducting wires, fabricated as vertical-pillar structures, between metal layers in back-end-of-line processes–the wires’ 20-100nm dimensions “match perfectly with state-of-the-art optical lithography,” IMEC stated. Also studied will be variation in diameter and structure of carbon nanotubes, and exploring opportunities and identifying roadblocks in implementing spintronics in combination with silicon technology.
IMEC added it also will develop metrology guidelines and provide theoretical quantitative models to describe newly observed phenomena in nanoelectronics. It did not offer a timeline for the projects, or indicate any funding amounts to support the research.