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: A quantum leap in nanoparticle efficiency

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

The five biggest threats to human existence

May 29, 2014

In the daily hubbub of current "crises" facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come. Not those who will live 200 years from now, but 1,000 or 10,000 years from now. I use ...

Using thoughts to control airplanes

May 27, 2014

Pilots of the future could be able to control their aircraft by merely thinking commands. Scientists at the Institute of Flight System Dynamics of the Technische Universität München have now demonstrated ...

Recommended for you

A quantum leap in nanoparticle efficiency

18 hours ago

(Phys.org) —New research has unlocked the secrets of efficiency in nanomaterials, that is, materials with very tiny particles, which will improve the future development of chemical sensors used in chemical ...

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.