Silicon Device Scaling to the Sub-10-nm Regime

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Science  17 Dec 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5704, pp. 2057-2060
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100731

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In the next decade, advances in complementary metal-oxide semiconductor fabrication will lead to devices with gate lengths (the region in the device that switches the current flow on and off) below 10 nanometers (nm), as compared with current gate lengths in chips that are now about 50 nm. However, conventional scaling will no longer be sufficient to continue device performance by creating smaller transistors. Alternatives that are being pursued include new device geometries such as ultrathin channel structures to control capacitive losses and multiple gates to better control leakage pathways. Improvement in device speed by enhancing the mobility of charge carriers may be obtained with strain engineering and the use of different crystal orientations. Here, we discuss challenges and possible solutions for continued silicon device performance trends down to the sub-10-nm gate regimes.

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