III-V MOSFETs for Ultimate CMOS

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: Electronics and Electrical Engineering


The semiconductor industry is one of the largest on the planet, with a turnover of more than $200 billion each year. Integrated circuits produced by the semiconductor industry are found inside all modern electronic appliances and products including mobile phones, cars, medical diagnostic equipment, controlling the safe operation of factories and public transportation systems and powering the Internet . In short, they are vital to modern life in the 21st Century. Since the invention of the transistor in 1957, manufacturers such as AMD, Intel, IBM and Freescale have been successful in developing ever more complex integrated circuits by making the individual transistors smaller and finding ways to combine more of them together on a single chip. The result has been a regular increase in the computational and processing capability of integrated circuits by doubling the number of transistors in each circuit every 2-3 years. Currently the most advanced integrated circuits contain hundreds of millions of transistors, each of which is 1/10,000 of the diameter of a human hair in size. Until now, this increase in capability has resulted from making smaller silicon-based transistors, however fundamental limits imposed by the properties of silicon are now being reached so that alternative materials need to be considered. In the view of all the major manufacturers mentioned above, a strong candidate to enable continued performance improvements for the industry are compound semiconductors. The Nanoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Glasgow is one of the world leaders in compound semiconductor transistor technology. For the last 3 years we have been working closely with Freescale Semiconductors to develop such transistor technologies which will, by around 2016, be ready for large scale manufacture as required for continued integrated circuit performance improvement at that time. This 3.8M, 3 year project, is focussed on delivering prototype compound semiconductor transistor technology, capable of being scaled up to large volume manufacture, with the required performance to deliver the types of processing and control functions required by integrated circuits in 2016. In addition to applications using digital logic such as microprocessors, this technology is expected to be of more general use, in areas such as sensors and photonics for medial, safety, imaging and communications applications. Five teams from the University of Glasgow will participate in the research which will cover compound semiconductor growth techniques controlled to atomic level precision; electrical, chemical and structural characterisation of the semiconductor materials the transistors fabricated from them, again on atomic lengthscales; powerful computer simulation to optimise transistor design; developing compound semiconductor processing techniques compatible with existing, well understood silicon-based methods; and building prototype transistors to show that the performance requirements are being met. Together, this project will deliver key information and understanding which will enable the semiconductor industry to continue to be one of the most successful on the planet in the coming decades.


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Description This was pioneering work on the use of compound semiconductor transistors as a potential technology booster to enable continued scaling of the mainstream semiconductor industry beyond 2020. At the tme the work commenced, there was little research in the area. A number of seminal papers were produced which motivated singificant additional research in the area worldwide, and has contributed to this technology solution being seriously adopted by the mainstream semiconductor industry
Exploitation Route The research in the area has subsequently been supported by a number of mainstream semiconductor manufacturers including TSMC, Intel, IBM, Freescale, Global Foundries and Tokyo Electron
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics

Description European Union Framework 7
Amount £385,528 (GBP)
Funding ID FP7-ICT-2007-1 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2013 
End 09/2016
Description Semiconductor Research Corporation
Amount $450,000 (USD)
Funding ID SRC_1637_001 
Organisation Semiconductor Research Corporation 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 01/2005 
End 12/2014