Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - 54

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So-called " two-dimensional " materials have unique electrical and photonic properties, but their
ultra-thin form factors present practical challenges when incorporated into devices. Penn Engineering
researchers have now demonstrated a method for making large-area " superlattices " - layered
structures containing 2D lattices of sulfur and tungsten - that can achieve light-matter coupling.
(Image: Penn Engineering)
staggering scales. With billions of transistors
in a single processor, each made of
multiple materials carefully arranged in
patterns as thin as a strand of DNA, their
manufacturing tools must also operate at
a molecular level.
Typically, these tools involve using
stencils to selectively pattern or remove
materials with high fidelity, layer after layer,
to form nanoscale electronic devices.
But as chips must fit more and more
components to keep up with the digital
world's growing computational demands,
these nanopatterning stencils must also
become smaller and more precise.
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has
demonstrated how a new class of polymers
could do just that. In a new study,
the researchers demonstrated how " multiblock "
copolymers can produce exceptionally
ordered patterns in thin films,
achieving spacings smaller than three
nanometers.
The researchers are now investigating
how to best convert these thin film structures
into functional nanopatterning stencils,
as well as developing a library of different
multiblock copolymer chemistries
that can form double gyroid structures.
Manufacturing uniform, extremely
thin, high quality photonic semiconductor
films of material other than silicon
would make semiconductor chips more
54
efficient, applicable, and scalable. A team
of engineers at Penn Engineering have
developed a new atomically thin material
that could improve the efficiency of lightbased
tech. Their work describes a new
method of manufacturing atomically
thin superlattices, or semiconductor
films, that are highly light emissive.
The team at Penn Engineering made
a superlattice, five atoms thick, of tungsten
and sulfur. They grew monolayers of
atoms, or lattices, on a two-inch wafer
and then dissolved the substrate, which
allows the lattice to be transferred to any
desired material, in their case, sapphire.
Additionally, their lattice was created
with repeating units of atoms aligned in
one direction to make the superlattice
two-dimensional, compact, and efficient.
Their superlattice design is not only
extremely thin, making it lightweight
and cost effective, but it can also emit
light, not just detect it. Applications for
this new technology are diverse and will
likely include high-tech robotics, rockets,
and lasers.
Technology Transfer
Penn Center for Innovation helps to
translate University of Pennsylvania discoveries
into new products. For more
information contact pciinfo@pci.upenn.
edu or call 215-7-INVENT.
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Tech Briefs, June 2022
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Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022

Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Band1
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Band2
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Cov2
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Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Cov4
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Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - MD-Cov2
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Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - MD-24
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - MD-Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - MD-Cov4
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Sensor-Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Sensor-Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - June 2022 - Sensor-1
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