The guiding principle of the microelectronics industry, Moore’s Law, which is an empirical observation that the density and speed of integrated circuit technology doubles every 18-24 months, must come to an end as the size of circuitry features approaches atomic scale. But there is still some mileage, and a lot to be gained, as the industry pursues the Moore’s Law trajectory, from the current efforts at 22 nanometer features, to the ultimate end in a decade or so at 8 to 10 nanometers. New technologies for creating patterns, that is, for writing the wiring patterns of integrated ciruits, are needed; Paul Nealey and Juan de Pablo of IME have developed and are driving continual improvement in one of the industry-recognized leading technologies: directed self-assembly (DSA).
Self-assembly is a process used by biology to organize the structural components of life itself, and refers to the ability of materials, especially organic and bio-inspired materials to create organized structures spontaneously based on information encoded in the molecules of the material. The vision is that much of the hard work involved in the production of ultra-small nanostructures could be carried out by the molecules themselves, based on information encoded into the molecular architecture, thereby reducing costs and enabling manufacture of new generations of electronic and memory devices.
Positioned at the forefront of this technology, IME is bringing new methods into practice. Outfitting a state-of-the-art cleanroom fabrication facility in the new William Eckhardt Research Center will be a key element of our capabilities, as is the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory.
- Scientia’s Spring 2018 Feature Edition: Interviews with IME Faculty
May 20, 2018
- Scientists make atoms-thick Post-It notes for solar cells and circuits
September 21, 2017
- Mesoscale martensitic transformation in single crystals of topological defects
September 18, 2017
- Directed self-assembly of blue-phase liquid crystals pave the way for intriguing photonic materials
July 24, 2017
Juan de Pablo
Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering and Deputy Director for Education and Outreach
Brady W. Dougan Professor in Molecular Engineering
Dean and Founding Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering
Seth B. Darling
Scientist, Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory
- All researchers