|Re: Hafnium transistors!|
Message #5 Posted by Ed Look on 12 Nov 2007, 8:37 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by designnut
Not to belabor the point nor to lecture anyone, but there can be four ways of looking at materials- metals, semimetals, semiinsulators, and insulators. Hafnium is a relatively obscure material, even among chemists, even still among materials chemists, and so most educated technical professionals would not know much about it. I only knew that it was a metal, and nothing about its conductivity, reactivities, nor mechanical properties.
I am now curious, however, why hafnium gates would be superior to gold or platinum or some such rather inert but highly conductive metal. I suspect it may have to do with the involvement or lack thereof of hafnium with regard to the formation of trap states, or even barrier formation, if a few atoms, say 10^12 or 10^14 or so, get loose and wend their ways into the semiconductor bulk regions near the interface.
Today, I listened to someone speak about tantalum catalytic chemistry. While not nearly as ignored as Hf, Ta is not really a common object of chemists or materials people's attentions. That's twice in one day for me with obscure metals...
... I now wonder if they'll be the next big thing, like silicon was initially, gallium arsenide at one point, the Atkins' diet a little while ago, or reality TV shows. 8)