PerspectiveApplied Physics

Where Do the Dopants Go?

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Science  15 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5733, pp. 388-390
DOI: 10.1126/science.1111104

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As the field-effect transistors used in modern electronic devices continue to shrink, scientists and engineers face new challenges. In their Perspective, Roy and Asenov discuss one such challenge: the problem that as device sizes shrink beyond a certain size, atomic-scale differences between devices result in different macroscopic properties. In particular, the locations and numbers of dopant atoms, introduced to alter the electrical properties of regions of the transistor, differ from device to device. The authors discuss recent successes in modeling the dopant distributions and their effects on transistor properties. Such simulations may help researchers to design devices that are resistant to fluctuations in dopant distributions.