MIT research team discovers how to keep Moore’s Law alive using 2D materials grown on silicon wafers
Gordon Moore, the co-founder and former CEO of Intel, made an observation in 1965 that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every year. In 1975, he revised his “law” calling for the number of transistors on a chip to double every other year. Typically, the higher a chip’s transistor count the more powerful and energy-efficient it is.
The use of 2D materials to build small transistors could keep Moore’s Law alive
An MIT research team was able to grow 2D crystals on a silicon wafer allowing the team to build a functional transistor
The 2D materials are known as transition-metal dichalcogenides, or TMDs. At nanometer scale, they conduct electrons more efficiently than silicon.
Speaking about the use of 2D materials to keep Moore’s Law alive, Jeehwan Kim, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, said, “We expect our technology could enable the development of 2D semiconductor-based, high-performance, next-generation electronic devices. We’ve unlocked a way to catch up to Moore’s Law using 2D materials.”
The MIT researchers were able to overcome the difficult task of growing 2D materials on silicon
The team was able to overcome the challenge of growing 2D materials on silicon. To build semiconductors, silicon wafers must be used, the associate professor noted. “Until now, there has been no way of making 2D materials in single-crystalline form on silicon wafers, thus the whole community has almost given up on pursuing 2D materials for next-generation processors,” Kim says. “Now we have completely solved this problem, with a way to make devices smaller than a few nanometers. This will change the paradigm of Moore’s Law.”
Transistors made from 2D materials could be the innovation that keeps the tech industry growing. It might allow manufacturers to develop faster and more powerful smartphones with the kind of battery life that we can only dream about right now.