CORDIS - EU research results

Single Nanometer Manufacturing for beyond CMOS devices

Project description

The aim of the project is to investigate and develop novel Technologies for Single Nanometer Manufacturing (SNM), reaching the theoretical limit of future nanoelectronic and nanomechnanical systems.

High performance Single Nanometer Manufacturing is an enabling technology for nanoelectronics, capable to open new horizons in the emerging world of nanotechnology.  Sustainable competence and excellence in the project should secure a new path for manufacturing ultimate electronic, optical and mechanical devices never done before.  A 15 member strong team led by Prof. Ivo W. Rangelow, Head of Department of Micro- and Nanoelectronic Systems at the Ilmenau University of Technology is working together to achieve ambitious goals:

  • Pushing the limits of the nano-manufacturing down the single nanometer digit
  • Development of nano-lithographic methods for nanometer-size features, overlay placement, inspection and integration in novel nanoelectronic devices
  • Enabling of novel ultra-low power electronics, quantum devices and manipulation of individual electrons
  • Open new horizons for beyond CMOS technology by novel cost-effective, global,  nano-lithographic technologies.

The Moore’s Law has been the basis in long-term planning in the technological developments, resulting in an exponential increase in the number of transistors Si-MOSFET per chip. European Project “SNM” will contribute to next generation nano-manufacturing technologies, for building future quantum electronics and pushing this nanotechnology into many new areas. It is expected that the MOSFET can remain viable down to the 10nm scale. However, below this, difficulty in controlling the device current, and the strong influence of quantum mechanical effects such as electron tunneling, may require new devices. Furthermore, increasing difficulty in fabricating large numbers of highly nano-scale devices using conventional optical lithographic techniques greatly compounds the problem. This indicates that a different approach may be essential to create a ‘beyond‐CMOS’ generation of electronic devices. Manufacturing next generation devices in nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, and nanoelectro-mechanical systems (NEMS) requires lithography at the single‐nanometer level with high alignment accuracy between patterns, acceptable throughput, cost, and high reliability. To address this, SNM-team is working on technology using a combination of high‐resolution scanning probe lithography (SPL) and nanoimprint lithography (NIL). SNM suppose that this arrangement is a promising candidate for high‐throughput device fabrication even at the sub‐5nm scale. Scanning probes are capable of confined nanoscale interactions for imaging, probing of material properties, and lithography at the single‐nanometer scale or even smaller. SNM-team is investigating novel single‐nanometer manufacturing technologies using advanced scanning probes to pattern molecular‐glass‐based resist materials (see Figure 1). Due to the small particle size (<1nm) and truly monodisperse nature (i.e. the particles are all of similar size) of molecular resists, a more uniform and smaller lithographic pixel size can be defined in comparison with conventional resists. Our lithographic process uses the same nanoprobe for atomic force microscope (AFM) imaging to allow pattern overlay alignment, direct writing of features into molecular resists using a highly confined, development‐less resist removal process via emission of low‐energy electrons, and AFM post‐imaging for final in situ inspection.

SNM-technology offers an encouraging direction toward single‐nanometer lithography and can improve throughput significantly by employing parallel, self‐actuated, and self‐sensing probe systems. Probe‐based closed‐loop lithography can be used for sub‐5nm fabrication of nanoimprint templates, as well as reproducible nano-scale prototyping of ‘beyond CMOS’ nano-electronic devices like quantum‐dot and single electron devices.

To extend beyond existing limits in nanodevice fabrication, new and unconventional lithographic technologies are necessary to reach Single Nanometer Manufacturing (SNM) for novel 'Beyond CMOS devices'. Two approaches are considered: scanning probe lithography (SPL) and focused electron beam induced processing (FEBIP). Our project tackles this challenge by employing SPL and FEBIP with novel small molecule resist materials. The goal is to work from slow direct-write methods to high speed step-and-repeat manufacturing by Nano Imprint Lithography (NIL), developing methods for precise generation, placement, metrology and integration of functional features at 3 - 5 nm by direct write and sub-10nm into a NIL-template. The project will first produce a SPL-tool prototype and will then develop and demonstrate an integrated process flow to establish proof-of-concept 'Beyond CMOS devices' employing developments in industrial manufacturing processes (NIL, plasma etching) and new materials (Graphene, MoS2). By the end of the project: (a) SNM technology will be used to demonstrate novel room temperature single electron and quantum effect devices; (b) a SNM technology platform will be demonstrated, showing an integrated process flow, based on SPL prototype tools, electron beam induced processing, and finally pattern transfer at industrial partner sites. An interdisciplinary team (7 Industry and 8 Research/University partners) from experienced scientists will be established to cover specific fields of expertise: chemical synthesis, scanning probe lithography, FEBIP-Litho, sub-3nm design and device fabrication, single nanometer etching, and Step-and-Repeat NIL- and novel alignment system design. The project coordinator is a University with great experience in nanostructuring and European project management where the executive board includes European industry leaders such as IBM, IMEC, EVG, and Oxford Instruments.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call


EU contribution
€ 2 115 302,00
98693 Ilmenau

See on map

Thüringen Thüringen Ilm-Kreis
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Participants (15)