Japanese Scientists have Developed Technology to Create Chips of New Generation
In modern electronics, the technology of nanoscale deposition of thin metal layers is used. Over time, the inner structure of the layer bends and cracks due to physical stress. To correct such a defect, it is necessary to heat the layer so that the metal softens, but does not melt, and then the voltage will subside. If this is not done, the chip will soon stop working.
This technique cannot be applied to layers made from refractory metals such as tungsten. It has a high melting point - over 1000 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the heating method is not only energy-consuming, but also restricting the choice of materials for engineers.
A team of scientists from the University of Tokyo Metropolitan University is working to improve another technology - Pulsed Magnetron Sputtering Deposition (HiPIMS), which allows you to create metal layers on crystals without restrictions. The technology works as follows: in order to deposit the metal, a HiPIMS pulse and a displacement pulse are simultaneously applied to the layer, which leads to minimization of the voltage in the layer and heating is no longer needed.
The Japanese researchers decided to apply the bias pulse with a delay of 60 microseconds. As a result, a dense crystalline layer with low voltage was obtained, and they actually achieved the effect of heating. By replacing argon with krypton, the team created layer with voltages as low as 0.03 GPa, a figure that is achieved with the heating method.
An efficient method of producing stress-free layers will have a significant impact on metallization processes and the production of next-generation circuits. This technology can be applied to other metals, taking the electronics industry to the next level.