News Column

Patent Issued for Mixed-Scale Electronic Interfaces

July 23, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- A patent by the inventors Li, Zhiyong (Palo Alto, CA); Robinett, Warren (Chapel Hill, NC), filed on April 15, 2010, was published online on July 8, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8773882 is assigned to Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. (Houston, TX).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Manufacturers and designers of integrated circuits continue to relentlessly decrease the size of integrated-circuit features, such as transistors and signal lines, and correspondingly increase the density at which features can be fabricated within integrated circuits. However, manufacturers and designers have begun to approach fundamental physical limits that prevent further decreasing feature sizes in integrated circuits fabricated by conventional photolithography techniques. Research efforts have, during the past decade, turned to new, non-photolithography-based techniques for fabricating nanoscale electronics that represent a significant decrease in feature sizes from currently available, submicroscale electronics fabricated by currently available high-resolution photolithographic techniques.

"In one approach to designing and fabricating nanoscale electronics, nanowire crossbars, including multiple layers of nanowires with molecular-scale widths, are fabricated by self-assembly of nanowires on surfaces. Nanowires may also be fabricated using nanoimprinting techniques. The grid-like nanowire crossbars provide a two-dimensional array of nanowire junctions representing the closest point of contacts between nanowires of a first layer, oriented in a first direction, and nanowires of a second layer, oriented in a second direction approximately perpendicular to the first direction. The nanowire junctions may be fabricated to have properties of configurable resistors, switches, diodes, transistors, and other familiar electronic components of integrated circuits.

"Many different prototype nanoscale electronic circuits have been produced in research environments, and continued research efforts are producing ever-increasing palates of nanoscale-electronic components, component organizations, and fabrication methods for producing the components and component organizations. However, practical, commercial electronic devices need to include large scale and microscale components and circuits that interface to nanoscale electronic devices and circuitry. However, devising and fabricating reliable and cost-effective interfaces between microscale and submicroscale electronics and nanoscale electronics has proven to be difficult. Therefore, researchers and developers of mixed-scale electronic devices continue to seek more reliable and more easily fabricated nanoscale/microscale interfaces for use in mixed-scale electronic devices."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Various embodiments of the present invention are directed to nanoscale/microscale interfaces for mixed-scale electronic devices. In certain embodiments of the present invention, a method of fabricating a mixed-scale electronic interface is disclosed. A substrate is provided with a first set of conductive elements. A first layer of nanowires may be formed over the first set of conductive elements. A number of channels may be formed, with each of the channels extending diagonally through a number of the nanowires of the first layer. A number of pads may be formed, each of which is electrically interconnected with an underlying conductive element of the first set of conductive elements and one or more adjacent nanowires of the first layer of nanowires. The pads and corresponding electrically interconnected nanowires define a number of pad-interconnected-nanowire-units. Additional embodiments of the present invention are directed to a method of forming a nanoimprinting mold and a method of programming nanowire-to-conductive element electrical connections."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Li, Zhiyong; Robinett, Warren. Mixed-Scale Electronic Interfaces. U.S. Patent Number 8773882, filed April 15, 2010, and published online on July 8, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Photolithography, Electronic Components, Hewlett-Packard Development Company L.P..

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly

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