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November 11th, 2004
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a technique that uses surface chemistry to make tinier and more effective p-n junctions in silicon-based semiconductors. The method could permit the semiconductor industry to significantly extend the life of current ion-implantation technology for making transistors, thereby avoiding the implementation of difficult and costly alternatives.
To make faster silicon-based transistors, scientists much shrink the active region in p-n junctions while increasing the concentration of electrically active dopant. Currently about 25 nanometers thick, these active regions must decrease to about 10 nanometers, or roughly 40 atoms deep, for next-generation devices.
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