Happy Earth Day – Reducing Carbon with MST

Published: April 22, 2021

Happy Earth Day!

By Robert Mears, Atomera Founder and CTO

The big news today is about reducing our carbon footprint. How much better than to replace carbon with oxygen?

Atomera brings a unique twist to this paradigm shift.

Increasingly in semiconductor technology, and particularly at the leading edge, technologists are turning to carbon doping to help immobilize other electrical dopants such as boron or phosphorus.

As multiple materials are stacked and grown, the requirement for hyper-abrupt transitions from high to low doping at various interfaces is becoming ever more stringent.

Carbon is currently the industry-standard approach used to reduce the intermixing (diffusion), but it doesn’t do a perfect job and brings further contamination risks.

Enter Atomera’s MST oxygen. The Atomera team has been able to show that the MST oxygen is more than five times more effective than carbon at freezing dopants in place without affecting their electrical activation. Not only that, but in the last few weeks, we have shown that an MST layer less than 5nm thick can block 99% of phosphorus diffusion even after a high-temperature anneal typically used to activate phosphorus (1050C for 20 seconds).

In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing more about this recent work and other MST attributes for engineering leading-edge devices. With other members of the Atomera team, we are also putting together a more technical white paper. Watch this space!