Smart lights, nonstick implants and 100th birthday of electronics at science & technology meeting

into a silicon wafer to create electrically active regions that are either electron-rich or electron-poor. Unfortunately, current ion-implantation methods cannot make 10-nm-deep pn junctions without inadvertently moving silicon atoms into some of the spots intended for dopants.

Now, University of Illinois researchers (Edmund Seebauer, eseebaue@uiuc.edu) are using surface chemistry to come to the rescue. In computer simulations, they showed how removing surface layers such as silicon dioxide frees up the dangling bonds. Silicon atoms then preferentially rise to the surface while tending to leave the dopant atoms in place. Verified in subsequent experiments, this idea for "defect engineering" has been shown to be a feasible solution for using traditional ion-implantation technology to make smaller-scale silicon-based electronic devices. (Paper EM-TuA7, Tuesday, November 16, 2004, 3:20 PM, Room 304B.)

[Lay-language version of meeting paper at http://www2.avs.org/symposium/anaheim/pressroom/seebauer.pdf ]

Quasicrystals, solid materials whose atoms arrange themselves in five- or 10-sided building blocks (providing what's called five- or 10-fold symmetry) and then form 12-sided (dodecahedral) grains, seem to exhibit less friction than do many other materials. Quasicrystals' highly complex atomic patterns are partly repeating (periodic) and partly nonrepeating (aperiodic). For the past ten years no explanation for their reduced friction has been found. Does it arise from some macroscopic cause---hardness or surface chemistry, say---or from some fundamental property related to the exotic quasicrystal structure? J.Y. Park and his colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Ames Laboratory have looked at this issue by dragging a probe microscope across a sample. What

Contact: Ben Stein
American Institute of Physics

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