An international team of university and industry scientists has discovered a way to improve nanoparticles used to make advanced circuits. These findings could help improve the reliable large-scale manufacture of high quality chips, experts told UPI's Nano World.
When it comes to making advanced circuitry, the silicon wafers they are based on must be as free of defects and flat as possible. Nanoparticles made of ceria, or cerium dioxide, are some of the abrasives used to smoothen out these wafers.
As the size of the circuitry features shrink to pack more computing power into microchips, the industry has to defects down to ensure mass manufacture of chips remains viable. This remains especially true as inventors develop electronic structures only nanometers or billionths of a meter in size, the scale of molecules. The problem is that ceria nanoparticles synthesized by existing techniques are irregularly faceted crystals, the sharp edges of which are prone to scratching the silicon wafers, explained researcher Zhong Lin Wang, a materials scientist in nanotechnology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
For superior performance, nanoparticles that are perfect spheres are ideal because they would act like ball bearings, polishing the silicon surface without scratching it. After three years of research, Wang and his colleagues in the United States, Britain and China have now developed a way of creating spherical ceria nanoparticles at large scales.
We are headed towards fullblown nanocomputation. In other words: the CPU's of the future will be completely 'nanotechnology'.
This allows for extremely fast CPU's that are easy to cool and hardly need any power to run.