Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Purdue researchers develop novel tool for semiconductor manufacturing

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: May 17th, 2023

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a tool to significantly improve the manufacturing of ultrathin semiconductors.

Led by Purdue associate professor Thomas Beechem, the researchers have created a tool that uses a dry-transfer process to move graphene and other ultrathin 2-D materials from the growth substrate where they are synthesized to a device substrate.

“Everyone wants their electronics to be smaller, faster, quicker and more powerful — but transistors keep getting smaller and smaller, which means the semiconductor industry is looking beyond silicon,” says Beechem. “Manufacturers are thinking about materials that are only atoms thick, like graphene and molybdenum disulfide, or MoS2, but the substrates that they grow on best aren’t the best to make devices.”

The new technology gives users more control and scalability while removing the need to etch materials that can easily contaminate the ultrathin layers.

“Two-dimensional materials have been darlings in the lab for over a decade now,” Beechem says. “To get them off the lab bench and into the real world, tools must be developed that allow their scalable integration into commercial fabs. Our tool steps in that direction in an attempt to make an iffy process in the lab into something more automatic.”

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization has applied for a patent on the technology and is seeking industry partners to bring it to market.

Source: Purdue Research Foundation News

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