This research program aims at pioneering and developing new nanofabrication techniques for carbon-nanoelectronics using a so-called 'bottom-up' approach. Individual building blocks for carbon-based nanodevices, such as catalyst nanoparticles, horizontally aligned carbon-nanotubes and ultra-scaled contacts and dielectrics will be precisely placed directly on the chip, without the use of lithography. This will be accomplished by using unique combinations of electron-beam induced deposition (EBID), atomic layer deposition (ALD) and oblique ion beam treatments. The process development will go hand-in-hand with atomic level understanding of the developed processes using in-situ and ex-situ analysis techniques to ensure process reproducibility and selectivity.
The need for new nanofabrication processes is a consequence of continuous down-scaling of electronic devices over the last 60 years for improved device performance. This continuous down-scalling will soon come to an end due to material limitations and the absence of viable processing techniques for even smaller nano-devices. On the materials side, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene hold great promise for next-generation nano-electronics due to their superior materials properties. However, for successful introduction of such carbon-based nano-devices in commercial products many manufacturing challenges need to be solved. Current 'top-down' electronics manufacturing techniques (e.g. materials patterning using photo- or e-beam lithography) will not be able to overcome these challenges.
At the end of this research program a toolbox will be available with direct-write nanofabrication techniques that are universally applicable in any bottom-up nano-device manufacturing process. This toolbox will aid further scaling and improvement of future nano-electronic devices.
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