Purdue expertise for downscaling transistors may advance semiconductor design

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – An innovation from researchers at Purdue University could help the semiconductor industry develop transistors that are smaller, use less power, and switch from on to off with smaller applied voltages. As a result, the innovation could lead to better and more powerful generations of central processors that can compute more operations with less energy.

Tillmann Kubis is the Katherine Ngai Pesic & Silvaco Research Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Purdue. It has become more difficult to meet the performance requirements of nanotransistors.

“You need a sufficiently high ON current and a sufficiently low OFF current, with a small enough difference to switch between the two,” said Kubis. “These challenges have significantly slowed transistor downscaling over the past eight years and made it increasingly difficult to introduce more powerful generations of CPUs.”

Kubis and James Charles, a senior research fellow at the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, developed CasFET or cascade field effect transistor technology. It introduces a new switching method for transistors that is similar to the effects seen with quantum cascade lasers.

“CasFET is a more general approach than the transistor technology we developed a few years ago. It offers more flexibility in the choice of materials and tension settings, ”said Kubis. “Technically, CasFET does not require band-to-band tunneling. This allows semiconductor designers to develop faster switching and more energy efficient transistors.”

Kubis and Charles continue to develop the first CasFET prototype.

“Once this shows the performance goals, we will move on to defining a specific CasFET prototype design,” said Kubis.

Kubis announced the CasFET innovation to the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization, which has filed for patent protection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It is available for further marketing by contacting Dipak Narula, Assistant Director of Business Development.

Via Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs between leading research universities in the United States. The services provided by this office support Purdue University’s economic development initiatives and benefit the university’s academic activities through the commercialization, licensing, and protection of Purdue intellectual property. The office recently moved to the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in the Discovery Park District next to the Purdue campus. In fiscal 2020, the Office reported 148 closed deals with 225 technologies signed, 408 disclosures received, and 180 US patents issued. The office is led by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue in third place nationwide for startups and in the top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, not-for-profit foundation created to advance Purdue University’s mission. For more information, please contact [email protected].

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked as one of the 10 Most Innovative Universities in the United States by US News & World Report for the past four years, Purdue delivers world-changing research and extraordinary discoveries. Purdue is dedicated to hands-on and online learning in the real world, providing transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, allowing more students than ever to graduate debt-free. Go to https://purdue.edu/ to see how Purdue never stops in its persistent pursuit of the next big leap.

Writer: Steve Martin, [email protected]

Source: Tillmann Kubis, [email protected]

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