In Search of Low-k Dielectrics

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Science  15 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5439, pp. 421-423
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5439.421

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Within the next few years, high-performance chips containing as many as 0.5 billion transistors on a single chip will be produced, containing up to 10,000 meters of on-chip wiring. However, such increased device and wiring densities cannot be achieved with currently used materials. The search is now on for materials that can replace silicon dioxide as the insulator in these future devices. But despite a bewildering number of candidate materials under investigation, a clear winner has yet to emerge.