Archer Materials moves towards miniaturisation of biochip technology

Archer Materials ASX AXE miniaturisation biochip technology nanometre
Archer Materials has achieved 15-nanometre feature size fabrication, which could potentially allow for billions of sensors on its biochip.

Archer Materials (ASX: AXE) has confirmed that its biochip technology is progressing towards the integration of sub-10 nanometre componentry using advanced lithography processes.

The significant reduction of feature size from 15nm would represent best-in-class innovation within the semiconductor space and potentially allow for billions of sensors on the biochip.

The 15nm size represents a minimum threshold of what is required for the development of Archer’s technology and paves the way to miniaturisation below 10nm.

Working towards 10nm is considered a significant technical achievement as the advanced lithography semi-conductor fabrication processes are complex and require precision engineering to reach lateral control over 15nm (which corresponds to approximately 100 atoms).

Incremental process

Miniaturisation of device components is an incremental process with each reduction in feature size requiring new and optimised processes of increased complexity.

Archer has achieved miniaturisation from 200nm down to 15nm by developing several advanced lithography processes.

Extreme miniaturisation would give the company greater flexibility and higher integration density in its lithographic processes for the design and fabrication of its technology.

For example, sub-10nm fabrication could allow for biochip device development to span a magnitude of feature sizes for potential applications exceeding billions of sensors, and for the fabrication of devices the size of a single, isolated quantum bit (or qubit, approximately 40nm).

Core business

Archer chief executive officer Dr Mohammad Choucair said the miniaturisation would complement Archer’s core business in the development of advanced semiconductor technology underpinned by nanofabrication capabilities.

“Achieving 15nm feature size is a great outcome,” he said.

“We have now prepared a suite of advanced lithography processes to reliably control fabrication for our device miniaturisation and scaling as we continue to advance towards breaking through the 10nm barrier.”

Lab-on-a-chip technology

Archer’s biochip is lab-on-a-chip technology being developed to enable complex detection of some of the world’s most deadly communicable diseases.

The biochip would allow droplets of biological specimens to be analysed and processed using graphene-based sensors.

Archer’s design principles include the micro- and nano-fabrication of integrated sensing devices in regions of a chip that work alongside other fabricated functional regions on the same chip to process, detect and analyse biological specimens.

Advanced lithography processes performed in a semi-conductor foundry are required to fabricate and integrate various features as part of a nanoelectronic device.

Dr Choucair said the work achieved to date on the 15nm features is an important step in the potential future operation of Archer’s biochip.

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