At the 2016 Symposia on VLSI Technology & Circuits, nano-electronics research center imec presented gate-all-around (GAA) n- and p-MOSFET devices made of vertically stacked horizontal silicon (Si) nanowires (NWs) with a diameter of only 8-nm. The devices, which were fabricated on bulk Si substrates using an industry-relevant replacement metal gate (RMG) process, have excellent short-channel characteristics (SS = 65 mV/dec, DIBL = 42 mV/V for LG = 24 nm) at performance levels comparable to finFET reference devices.
GAA devices architectures offer optimal electrostatic control, thereby enabling ultimate CMOS device scaling. In addition, horizontal NWs are a natural extension of RMG finFETs, in contrast to vertical NWs which require more disruptive technology changes. Furthermore, stacking of NWs maximizes the drive current per footprint. Imec successfully combined these three aspects, and, for the first time, demonstrated vertically stacked horizontal Si NWs at scaled dimensions: 8-nm-diameter wires, 45-nm lateral pitch, and 20-nm vertical separation.
Compared to the conventional bulk FinFET flow, imec implemented two major differences in the process flow. First, shallow trench isolation (STI) densification at 750°C resulted to preserve sharp silicon-germanium (SiGe)/Si interfaces, which is essential for well-controlled Si NW release. Second, a low-complexity ground plane doping scheme was applied, suppressing the bottom parasitic channel.
“By demonstrating stacked nanowires with solid electrostatic control, at scaled dimensions, and using an industry-relevant RMG process on bulk silicon substrates, imec has achieved breakthrough results that can pave the way to realizing sub-10nm technology nodes,” stated Dan Mocuta, Director Logic Device and Integration at imec. “The upcoming research phase will focus on achieving even denser pitches and on leveraging this knowledge to develop gate-all-around lateral nanowire CMOS devices.”
Imec’s research into advanced logic scaling is performed in cooperation with imec’s key partners in its core CMOS programs including GlobalFoundries, Intel, Micron, SK Hynix, Samsung, TSMC, Huawei, Qualcomm and Sony.
Imec (imec.be) performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics and photovoltaics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, India and Japan. Its staff of about 2,500 people includes about 740 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2015, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 415 million euro.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.)and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).