Simulation Program Predicts Resistivity in Nanodevices

January 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: Try togetherness: Study promotes cooperative weed management to curb herbicide resistance

Related Stories

Recommended for you

How community structure affects the resilience of a network

June 22, 2018

Network theory is a method for analyzing the connections between nodes in a system. One of the most compelling aspects of network theory is that discoveries related to one field, such as cellular biology, can be abstracted ...

Detecting metabolites at close range

June 22, 2018

A novel concept for a biosensor of the metabolite lactate combines an electron transporting polymer with lactate oxidase, which is the enzyme that specifically catalyzes the oxidation of lactate. Lactate is associated with ...

0 comments

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.