The continuous downscaling of interconnect dimensions in combination with the introduction of low-k dielectrics has increased the number of heat dissipation, integration and reliability challenges in modern electronics. As a result, there is a strong need for new materials that have high current-carrying capacity for applications as nanoscale interconnects. In this presentation, we show that quasi-one-dimensional (1D) van der Waals metals such as TaSe3 have excellent breakdown current density exceeding that of 5 MA/cm2. This value is above that currently achievable in conventional copper or aluminum wires. The quasi-1D van der Waals materials are characterized by strong bonds along one dimension and weak van der Waals bonds along two other dimensions. The material for this study was grown by the chemical vapor transport (CVT) method. Both mechanical and chemical exfoliation methods were used to fabricate nanowires with lateral dimensions below 100 nm. The dimensions of the quasi-1D nanowires were verified with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The metal (Ti/Au) contacts for the electrical characterization were deposited using electron beam evaporation (EBE). The measurements were conducted on a number of prototype interconnects with multiple electric contacts to ensure reproducibility. The obtained results suggest that quasi-1D van der Waals metals present a feasible alternative to conventional copper interconnects in terms of the current-carrying capacity and the breakdown current-density.
This work was supported, in part, by the SRC and DARPA through STARnet Center for Function Accelerated nanoMaterial Engineering (FAME).