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TU Wien (Vienna) has succeeded in making a new type of material usable for chip technology. This enables faster, more efficient computers and new types of quantum devices.

Current chip technology is largely based on silicon. Only in very special components a small amount of germanium is added. But there are good reasons to use higher germanium contents in the future: The compound semiconductor silicon-germanium has decisive advantages over today's silicon technology in terms of energy efficiency and achievable clock frequencies.

The main problem here is to establish contacts between metal and semiconductor on a nanoscale in a reliable way. This is much more difficult with a high proportion of germanium than with silicon. The team at TU Wien, however, together with research teams from Linz and Thun (Switzerland), has now shown that this problem can be solved—with contacts made of crystalline aluminum of extremely high quality and a sophisticated silicon germanium layer system. This enables different interesting contact properties—especially for optoelectronic and quantum components.

To read more, click here.

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