IBM Adds Photonics to Silicon with III-V Nanowires

PORTLAND, Ore. — IBM Research of Zurich is clearing the way for a “new generation of transistor” circuitry based on semiconducting nanowires whose tiny size imparts extraordinary properties not possible with standard bulk materials. The research lab’s latest innovation, accomplished with Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is a novel technique of mechanically straining gallium arsenide (GaAs) nanowires on silicon substrates so that they cannot only be tuned to different colors of the spectrum, but can be switched from being emitters of light to being detectors of light as well.

IBM’s scanning electron micrograph of a strained gallium arsenide nanowire (orange) that could provide optical capabilities to future silicon chips.
(Source: IBM)

For several years, IBM Zurich has been researching ways to integrate high-electron-mobility III-V materials like gallium arsenide, indium arsenide (InAs,) and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) onto standard silicon complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chips. As a result, the lab has explored many novel III-V compounds.

IBM Adds Photonics to Silicon

“There are different future candidates to replace/complement the silicon transistor. III-V materials, and in particularly InGaAs ternary alloys, are especially considered for traditional n-channel transistors, because they have higher electron mobility compared to silicon,” said Giorgio Signorello, an IBM scientist and an author of its latest paper.
IBM Zurich is also investigating other device architectures, like the Tunneling Field Effect Transistor cast in InGaAs and InAs alloys. The Tunneling FET achieves extraordinary low-energy operation with which IBM hopes to define a new class of nanowire-based CMOS.
For more detail: IBM Adds Photonics to Silicon with III-V Nanowires

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I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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