Simulation Program Predicts Resistivity in Nanodevices

Jan 17, 2006

As nanoscale circuits continue to shrink, electrical resistivity increases in the wiring and limits the maximum circuit speed. A new simulation program developed by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and George Washington University can be used to predict such increases with greater input flexibility and model accuracy than other methods. The software program is expected to help the semiconductor industry design and test devices more efficiently and with greater cost-effectiveness.

On average, an electron can travel only 39 nanometers in pure, bulk copper at room temperature before it is scattered by thermal vibrations of the copper atoms. But, as the dimensions of the wiring shrink, additional scattering by surfaces and grain boundaries within the metal lead to undesirable increases in resistivity. The NIST/GWU computer program, described in a recent paper in Microelectronics Reliability,* enables users to examine how these additional mechanisms alter the resistivity of the thin, narrow metal lines that make up the circuit wiring.

As described in the journal article, NIST researchers used the simulation program to demonstrate that, at critical nanoscale dimensions, electron scattering from surfaces and grain boundaries have effects that are interdependent. This interdependence could not be predicted using methods previously available. The finding has implications for both achievable circuit speed and electrical measurements of the dimensions of thin, narrow lines.

* A.E. Yarimbiyik, H.A. Schafft, R.A. Allen, M.E. Zaghloul, D.L. Blackburn. 2005. Modeling and simulation of resistivity of nanometer scale copper. Microelectronics Reliability. Posted online Dec. 19.

Source: NIST

Explore further: From tobacco to cyberwood

Related Stories

Supercomputers help solve puzzle-like bond for biofuels

Mar 16, 2015

One of life's strongest bonds has been discovered by a science team researching biofuels with the help of supercomputers. Their find could boost efforts to develop catalysts for biofuel production from non-food ...

Viruses impaired if their targets have diverse genes

Nov 18, 2014

When a viral infection spread through five genetically identical mice in a row, the virus replicated faster and became more virulent or severe. But when the infection spread one-by-one through five genetically ...

Mantle plumes crack continents

Sep 04, 2014

Using a simulation with an unprecedentedly high resolution, Earth scientists from University of Paris VI and ETH Zurich have shown that magma columns in the Earth's interior can cause continental breakup—but ...

Recommended for you

From tobacco to cyberwood

1 hour ago

Swiss scientists from ETH Zurich have developed a thermometer that is at least 100 times more sensitive than previous temperature sensors. It consists of a bio-synthetic hybrid material of tobacco cells and nanotubes.

Scientists convert microbubbles to nanoparticles

5 hours ago

Biomedical researchers led by Dr. Gang Zheng at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have successfully converted microbubble technology already used in diagnostic imaging into nanoparticles that stay trapped in tumours to potentially ...

'Atomic chicken-wire' is key to faster DNA sequencing

8 hours ago

An unusual and very exciting form of carbon - that can be created by drawing on paper- looks to hold the key to real-time, high throughput DNA sequencing, a technique that would revolutionise medical research ...

3-D images of tiny objects down to 25 nanometres

9 hours ago

Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute and ETH Zurich (Switzerland) have created 3D images of tiny objects showing details down to 25 nanometres. In addition to the shape, the scientists determined how ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.