Liveblogging Foresight 2011 – Beyond Silicon – Nanoscale Science and Technology at IBM

Beyond Silicon – Nanoscale Science and Technology at IBM
Thomas N Theis
Program Manager, New Devices and Architectures for Computing
IBM Watson Research Center

IBM and ETH opened the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotech Center (May 2011)
Vibration isolation and temp control

Three other facilities

Research on new materials, processes, instrumentation, theory and computational modeling aimed at new devices for logic (new switch) , memory (MRAM, PCM, SCM), communication (nanophotonics)

Smarter planet (stuff not the core business)

Advanced nanoscale analytical instruments (pushing the state of the art)
In-situ UHV transmission electron microscopy and liquid cell TEM
IBM low energy electron microscope II
Medium Energy Ion Scattering (0.3 nanometer resolution non destructive elemental depth profiling)
Scanning probe microscopy (AFM, STM, Scanning Kelvin, Electrostatic Magnetic, etc…)
Nanoscale MRI


Direct Imaging of Molecular Structure
Pentacene model
Unique AFM imaged the bonds
Including the hydrogen bonds (25 picometer resolution)
Imaged a metabolite from bacteria in mariana trench
Structured an unknown molecule with direct imaging first

Nanoscale 3D patterning
Make 3d sculpture of a world map 4-0nm, 143 second writing time
256 vertical levels, 100,000 pixels
Looking for business partners

Smarter Planet
Worlds highest efficiency earth abundant chalcogenide thin film solar cells (CuZnSnSSe)
Conversion efficiency 9.6%
Partner with two major PV companies
T.K. Todorov et al Advance material 22, E156

Partnership model

Roche and IBM Collaborate to develop Nanopore Based DNA Sequencing Technology

Designing an antimicrobial polymeric Nanostructure

New molecular structures could fight infectious diseases better than conventional antibiotics (95,000 people in the US get sick from drug resistant bacteria)
Nederberg (Nature Chemistry, 2011)

Environmental Wireless sensors at the cloisters
Smart dust
Low power mote technology
Senses temperature, humidity, corrosion, contamination, light levels, air flow, pressure
Self configuring mesh network

FET CMOS cannot get it to smart dust

Silicon Nanophotonics

Shrink everything to onchip photonics

Leaders invest in science and then aggressively transition to engineering
Followers invest at engineering

Recent achievements integrated devices

1. Ultracompact WDM multiplexers, Optics Express May 2007
2. Ultracompact 10 Gbps modulator Dec 2007
3. High throughput nanophotonics switch April 2008, 40 Gbps error free
4. Ge waveguide avalanche photodetector Nature March 2010, 40 Gbps at 1V, 8fF capacitance

Breakthrough integrated photonics and electronics for exascale computing

In product in a few more years

Phase Change Memory (PCM)

Amorphous Phase – low reflectance, high resistance (cool fast)

Polycrystalline phase – high reflectance, low resistance (50ns, cool slower, more organized)

Need a new device to replace flash memory

Billions of cycles for the memory

Demo of scalability – 3 nm, 20nm, 100 nm active volume demo, active region cube a few cubic nanometers

Developing new logic devices, new phase change memory and new silicon photonics for exaflop and zettaflop computers

Carbon electronics for ultra-narrow or ultra thin gates

Carbon nanotubes – need place with nanometer position (unsolved problem) to beat silicon. Extraordinary dc device characteristics hold promise for ultra narrow channel FETS

Extraordinary carrier mobilities in suspended sheets hold promise for ultra thin channel FETS
Limited success in opening a useful bandgap for digital electronics (wants to be a semi-metal)

Shrinking carbon nanotube transistors
Channel scaled to 15nm (more current and more speed)
Contact length scaled to 20nm (the contact slows down the speed)

Aaron Franklin working the problem

Graphene RF Transistors on 2 inch SiC wafer
Graphene formation on Si-face of SiC
Can watch the graphene grow layer by later
155 Ghz device but does not beat the best silicon

Clockspeed will not speed up until we replace the FET (field effect transistors)

Low voltage switch concepts
New materials for memory
Nanoplasmonics beyond silicon nanophotonics
Quantum computing

New materials, energy storage and conversion, medicine and health care

Functionalize tungsten tips with Carbon monoxide to get the best resolution

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