Carbon Nanotube based Solutions for the Next Generation Logic Circuits

Period of Performance: 11/17/2011 - 11/19/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Digital Optics Technologies, Inc.
1645 Hicks Road, Suite H Array
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Designing efficient logic circuits involves improvement and optimization of transistors and interconnects. However, as technology follows Moore s law down to nanometer dimensions, the performance gap between the transistors and interconnects is continuously widening. As conventional CMOS technology approaches its fundamental physical and material limits, interconnects have become the primary bottleneck. An additional dimension to these already challenging issues is the expectation to make the nanoscale logic circuits radiation hardened for defense and space applications. Radical alternatives like carbon nanotube (CNT) based interconnects and field-effect-transistors (CNTFET) are currently being investigated for future logic design. To study the feasibility of a complete CNT based logic platform we plan to investigate current conduction modes, electrical properties and parasitic elements of CNT interconnects and CNTFETs. The objectives of Phase-I are: (i) to explore new structures of mixed CNT bundles for on-chip communication, and (ii) to develop techniques to exploit the negative capacitance (NC) effect to design high-performance, ultra-low-power CNT based logic circuits. Prototype development and radiation hardening would be addressed in Phase-II. The proposed work is a collaboration between DOT, UIC and a couple of CNT companies. Dr. Masud Chowdhury from UIC, who recently proposed a new structure of mixed-CNT bundle interconnect and introduced the concept of using NC effect in CNT based logic circuits, will coordinate the project. BENEFIT: Virtually all military satellite programs could benefit from the availability of high-density, radiation-hardened logic that would result from this project. Commercial applications high-density logic resulting from carbon nano-tube would be ubiquitous, including computer memories, MP3 music players, and cell phones.