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NUOTO — Result In Brief

Project ID: 32644
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Italy

Radical ultra high capacity capacitors

Capacitors are electronic devices that store charge, where a material’s ability to do so is related to its dielectric constant (k). European researchers successfully developed the processes required to produce the next generation of high capacity capacitors for tomorrow’s wireless electronics based on a radical new material with very high k.
Radical ultra high capacity capacitors
Many of the materials commonly used in the semiconductor industry have a k in the range of 10 - 20 at room temperature. The recent discovery of a new ceramic material with k = 105 at very high frequency and constant over a broad temperature range led European researchers to design the ‘New materials with ultra high k dielectric constant for tomorrow wireless electronics’ (NUOTO) project.

The researchers characterised the new material, calcium copper titanate (CCTO), in its pure form and then developed doped CCTO to be used in standard physical deposition methods for obtaining thin films. In fact, the researchers successfully demonstrated excellent dielectric behaviours on electrodes of industrial interest using laser deposition and sputtering. Newly developed methods for investigating dielectric properties enabled characterisation at the nanoscale for single crystals, ceramics and deposited thin films.

the investigators were further interested in developing methodology for metal organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD), which would guarantee the ability to use the material in 3D structures as the next evolutionary step to standard 2D (planar) capacitors used in the silicon industry. To this end, the researchers successfully developed new equipment for laser-assisted chemical beam epitaxy (CBE) using a laser to change the CCTO composition in real-time during deposition.

using the characterisations and improved equipment and methodologies, numerous capacitors were fabricated with a variety of material qualities and via various methods at various partner sites resulting in demonstration of a fabrication process for CCTO capacitors compatible with standard silicon industrial technology.Thus, the NUOTO project advanced the state of the art for ceramic materials used in the semiconductor industry and opened the door for future production of 3D structures based on the materials that could be used in tomorrow’s wireless electronics. Commercialisation of the outcomes should provide a significant boost to the European electronics industry, enhancing competitiveness in this huge global market.

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