Korean Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has developed a new eight-inch wafer production technique for large scale manufacturing of electronic components.
The process can help produce more than 200,000 electronic elements as it contains large-area silicon substrate that uses mott metal-insulator transition (MIT).
Mott MIT refers to a phenomenon in which a nonconductor is turned into a metal or vice versa without a structural phase transition. The metal stops conducting at low temperature or high pressure, despite the classical theory predicting conduction.
Kim Hyun-tak, the lead researcher, demonstrated the theory in 2005 and has continued with his research since then in order to commercialize electronic elements with MIT materials.
The team had earlier produced MIT elements by using two-inch wafers for research purposes. However, the maximum production capacity was limited to 16,000 elements and this limitation led to a high price and a low level of production efficiency. Last year, the team succeeded in developing MIT elements with two-inch wafers for magnetic switches used at home and industries.
Hyun-tak explained that the utilization of the newly developed technique results in reduced MIT element production costs, current leakage prevention and an improved device yield. The technique is expected to be utilized in such equipment as high-efficiency smart power transistors, fire detection sensors, illumination sensors and lithium-ion batteries.
“The sensitivity of a sensor to which the MIT technology is applied is about 1,000 times that of a semiconductor sensor,” said Hyun-tak. “We will further develop this technique by working on mass production and applied technologies and combining it with the Internet of Things and the like.”
Image credits: ETRI