Novel methods and materials that can be used in building integrated circuits have the potential to reduce power, which would ultimately lead to extending battery life of mobile applications up to 10 times.
This was demonstrated by a team of researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology, international semiconductor consortium SEMATECH and Texas State University.
The secret to their success is hidden in a tunneling field effect transistor. This is a switch, which is used to control the movement of electrons through materials in order to conduct electrical currents and run circuits.
The field effect transistors, however, as stated by Sean Rommel, associate professor of electrical and microelectronic engineering, answer a key question about the viability of the technology.
Rommel and three graduate students presented their findings at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco in December and also published a paper entitled “Benchmarking and Improving III-V Esaki Diode Performance with a Record 2.2 MA cm2 Current Density to Enhance Tunneling Field-Effect Transistor Drive Current.”
They developed a process, which builds and tests tiny vertical Esaki tunnel diodes. The researchers measured hundreds of diodes and observed larger currents than normally reported. Thefindings of the current study are comparable only to a study that discovered Esaki tunnel diodes back in 1957.
The scientists are certain that their work could lead to designing of higher performance tunneling field effect transistors that can be integrated in the new generation mobile devices.