Advanced microscopy is being used by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Sungkyunkwan University in Korea to nanoengineer promising materials for computers and electronics in the post-Moore age.
Moore’s Law, which states that technology progresses as transistor sizes reduce, has historically caused computers to become faster and more powerful. Nanometer-size transistors are reaching their practical limits, necessitating new techniques to scale up existing technologies.
A team from ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences used a focused beam of helium ions to locally control ferroelectricity in a metal oxide thin film, making it more usable for transistors and memory. Light ion microscopy can reveal unique functions in materials and open new avenues for designing future gadgets, according to findings published in Science.
ORNL’s Liam Collins remarked, “This project showcases the enhanced ion beam and scanning probe capabilities accessible to CNMS users, which open new frontiers to locally manipulate and understand materials properties on the nanoscale.”