Low Resistivity CNT Interconnects for Next-Generation Space Electronics

Period of Performance: 02/13/2009 - 02/12/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Faraday Technology, Inc.
315 Huls Drive Array
Englewood, OH 45315
Principal Investigator


This Phase I SBIR program addresses the need for the development of carbon nanocomposite materials technologies for space applications. Specifically, Faraday Technology and General Dynamics IT propose to design and build low resistivity / high reliability electronics modules that utilize carbon nanotubes, combined in a composite with copper. In the Phase I program, the project team will address both design, testing and manufacturing through the development of an electrically mediated electrophoretic deposition process that will enable placement of single-walled carbon nanotubes into small features on semiconductor wafers. These electronic devices will be tested for properties such as resistivity, deposit thickness, I-V performance, and the ratio of metallic to non-metallic nanotubes. Faraday and GDIT believe that manufacturing is extremely important to consider in the early stages of device design, so as to provide the best cost-performance for the devices under development. In the Phase II program, the Phase I results will be optimized and scaled-up for carbon nanotube deposition into nanoscale features on full-size semiconductor wafers, including the development of composite carbon nanotube / copper interconnects. BENEFIT: The anticipated benefits of the proposed technology are low resistivity electronics based on carbon nanotubes, with the potential for carbon nanotube/copper composites for added durability and reliability. Carbon nanotubes have extraordinary resistance to electromigration, even at high current densities unattainable by copper lines. Carbon nanotubes have also been shown to be very resistant to damage from radiation, an important feature for components of space electronics. In addition to low-cost localized placement of carbon nanotubes, electrophoretic deposition also has the potential for controlling the ratio of metallic to non-metallic nanotubes, and for control of the alignment of the nanotubes within the interconnects. Potential commercial applications include electronics- and space-relevant technologies, such as conductive adhesives, vias (vertical interconnects), and flip chip bumps. Specifically, the introduction of carbon nanotubes could alleviate the reliability concerns of copper interconnects, as feature sizes continue to decrease, and copper electromigration induces higher rates of failure.