Since the 1950s, improvements in integrated circuit performance and functionality have been orchestrated primarily by transistor length scaling and increased integration, which has led to the proliferation of the information technology with unprecedented social and economic impact. Transistor, however, is a relatively insensitive switch, and demand an operating voltage close to 1 Volt for good ON/OFF switching. Wires in electrical circuit, however, have a noise level of ~1 millivolt. Therefore, in-principle a more sensitive switch could be powered by a few millivolts, leading to a power saving of five orders of magnitude or more. In this presentation, we will demonstrate a 21st century nano-electromechanical (NEM) relay device that operates at sub-50 mV switching voltages. Coupled with the effects of a body-bias that decreases relay contact impact velocity, and fluorinated anti-stiction molecular coating on the relay contact surfaces that reduces the hysteresis voltage, the NEM relay promises a new era on low power electronic devices and internet-of-things based applications. The presentation will also address device challenges such as stability, and variability, as well as fundamental material challenges such as anti-stiction and electrical properties of coating materials for the development of energy efficient NEM switch devices.
Bivas Saha is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Dr. Saha graduated from Purdue University (Ph.D. in 2014), JNCASR (M.S. in 2010) and Jadavpur University (B.Sc. in 2007). Dr. Saha’s research interests span from materials science to applied physics, specializing in solid-state materials and devices for energy conversion and energy efficient electronic sciences. He is the recipient of the Purdue University College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Award in 2014, and has served as an ambassador of the Birck Nanotechnology Center and Discovery Park of Purdue University.