CEA-Leti and Intel have jointly announced an innovative research project focused on layer transfer technology for two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenides (2D TMDs) on 300mm wafers. Their goal is to extend Moore’s Law beyond 2030, driving further advances in microelectronics.
Two-Dimensional Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (2D TMDs) represent a special class of materials distinguished by their ultrathin structures, composed of layers of transition metal atoms interleaved with layers of chalcogen atoms such as sulfur, selenium or tellurium – typically interspersed between transition metal layers and layers of chalcogen atoms such as sulfur selenium or tellurium – with such properties making 2D TMDs highly sought-after in electronics and optoelectronic applications alike. Recently this class of materials has gained significant interest due to their immense potential in electronics and optoelectronic applications alike.
2D TMDs differ from traditional three-dimensional materials in that their ultrathin thickness typically ranges from one to several nanometers, giving rise to unique properties including electrical, optical and mechanical characteristics due to quantum confinement effects and surface interactions. This feature gives rise to some remarkable properties.
2D TMDs have impressive properties that make them highly promising in various applications, particularly semiconductor devices. Their exceptional properties make them particularly desirable as an attractive alternative to silicon-based transistors, including reduced power consumption, enhanced carrier mobility, and better electrostatic control. Their sub-1nm channel thickness provides superior scaling and performance characteristics which could enable advancements beyond 2030.
To realize the full potential of 2D-FET stacked-nanosheet devices and drive further transistor scaling into the future, this collaborative project aims to develop an effective layer-transfer technology. Specifically, its goal is to achieve high-quality growth of 2D materials on 300mm substrates before seamlessly transferring them over to another device substrate for seamless process integration. Intel will bring its expertise in research, development and manufacturing while CEA-Leti offers bonding and transfer-layer knowledge along with comprehensive characterization capabilities into this endeavor.
Robert Chau, Intel Senior Fellow for Technology Development and Director of Intel Europe Research, stressed the significance of 2D TMD materials for pushing forward transistor scaling. As Moore’s Law is being continuously stretched to its limit, 2D TMD material could offer a promising avenue for increasing transistor scaling limits in future years. As part of Intel Europe Research’s 2D TMD research program on 300mm wafers to achieve that vision of Moore’s Law.
Intel is engaged in this partnership to advance microelectronics and foster innovation across Europe. By moving Robert Chau to lead Intel Europe Research, the company aims to leverage its semiconductor and packaging research and technology expertise along with European partners – CEA-Leti is well known for collaborating successfully in numerous domains related to design, processes and packaging technology.
Intel and CEA-Leti unveiled in June 2022 their research breakthrough of die-to-wafer bonding technology using self-assembly processes for chip integration. Robert Chau, during a visit to CEA-Leti’s Grenoble headquarters, stressed the significance of collaborations and joint projects, reiterating his dedication to long-term research collaboration between these entities.
CEA-Leti CEO Sebastien Dauve discussed the incorporation of 2D materials in future microelectronic devices, emphasizing the vital role that transfer capabilities on 300mm wafers play. Given the challenges associated with high growth temperatures exceeding 700degC and need for high quality growth on preferred substrates, traditional stacking methods for thin layers become inadequate compared to transfer technology as an integrative means for 2D materials into future devices; in such an endeavor CEA-Leti stands out as an invaluable partner due to their expertise and know how regarding transfer development and characterization expertise and expertise which make CEA-Leti an invaluable partner in such endeavor.
CEA-Leti and Intel have demonstrated great promise through their joint efforts, advancing semiconductor technology by opening up 2D TMD integration and prodding Moore’s Law into its third decade of life. By pooling expertise together, these entities stand poised to drive innovation and shape microelectronics landscape both in Europe and worldwide.