I-Corps: A Dedicated Foundry Service for Emerging Materials

Project: Research project

Project Details


The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is the development of advancements in the use of emerging materials for semiconductor manufacturing. The dedicated emerging materials foundry could alleviate the chip shortage concerns which have disproportionately affected small and medium-sized businesses which use chips in their products. There may be four classes of customers: scientists/engineers in the fields of chemistry, biology, etc.; scientists/engineers who grow nanomaterial in their labs; small/medium sized internet of things companies; and semiconductor packaging facilities that are interested in integrating chips with their existing products. For each class, an application-specific chip will be developed which will harness certain unique properties of 2-dimensional materials. The low-to-medium volume production line of the proposed business will enable the flexibility to meet the targeted needs of a large variety of customers who will not be reliant on the rigid tape-out schedules of foundries.This I-Corps project is based on the development of a dedicated emerging materials foundry for producing novel chip designs using unconventional materials with a quick turnaround time. With the continued scaling of transistors in silicon chips, Moore’s law has reached a phase of stagnation. To overcome this challenge, novel semiconductor materials have been used to experimentally demonstrate superior performance in ultra-scaled transistors. Despite their fascinating properties, there has been very little progress in transitioning these state-of-the-art technologies from the lab to the marketplace. As a result, there are hardly any foundries today which manufacture chips based on novel and emerging semiconductors. All this while, the growth of 2-dimensional materials on a large scale, which is crucial in mass producing transistors, has been drastically improved. This is a unique opportunity to commercialize an emerging materials semiconductor foundry at a time when the US wants to regain its leadership in semiconductor and chip manufacturing.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date4/15/233/31/24


  • National Science Foundation: $50,000.00


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