Scalable Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistors for Space Nanoelectronics Applications

Q.X. Ngo, S.A. Anderson, M.J.O. Connor, J.A. Nichols, J.E. Dunning, E.C. Holihan, A.N. Robinson, G.C. Taylor
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, US

Keywords: carbon nanotube, FET, digital electronics, radiation, cryogenic

Summary:

Space applications require a disruptive technology such as CNT electronics to provide low power, high density, high performance digital electronics that perform in extreme conditions such as cryogenic temperatures and radiation environments. In this work, a novel integration and process flow has been developed to manufacture scalable CNT-FETs using an 8” wafer process in a semiconductor foundry enabling fabrication of monolithic multi-layer CNT devices on a full wafer. This integration scheme is used to demonstrate integration of CNT-FETs with a CNT based non-volatile memory bit. This advancement demonstrates the feasibility for forming an arbitrary number of device layers on a single chip, thereby enabling CNT-FET integrated circuits at densities far beyond the roadmap for planar device integration schemes. Concurrently, CNT device performance was measured in nominal and extreme environments including total ionizing dose irradiation, high energy proton irradiation, and cryogenic temperature, demonstrating robust electrical behavior of active and passive CNT devices. While additional radiation and temperature-based characterization is necessary, the performance of highly scalable CNT-FET devices measured in this work under extreme environments demonstrates that CNT-based integrated circuits are a viable option for high density digital electronics for space applications.