IMEC creates 50nm finFET biological sensor

December 17, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
IMEC creates 50nm finFET biological sensor
Research institute IMEC (Leuven, Belgium), has created what it claims is the smallest finFET that functions as a biological sensor.

The device has a fin width of 13nm and 50nm gate length and was fabricated in a CMOS-compatible process in IMEC's 300mm wafer clean room.

The device has a demonstrated detection limit of tens of molecules. IMEC said that it is working towards the detection of single DNA molecules. With arrays of such BioFETs working together high-throughput and cost-effective biological assay tools could be possible.

The device works by allowing biomolecules to bind to the chemically modified dielectric surface of the gate. This alters the threshold voltage resulting in a measurable
signal.

Such transistors have been developed in the past but at larger scale using planar semiconductor manufacturing (see Biological sensing transistor made available for Covid-19 testing ).

As with the electronic benefits of finFETs over bulk-CMOS planar transistors, the finFET with its three-dimensional surface can improve the sensitivity of BioFETs and open new applications.

Leveraging silicon manufacturing has opened up prospects for a variery of biosensing applications including: DNA, protein, virus detection and pH sensing.

IMEC predicts single-molecule detection is possible with a signal-to-noise ration of >5 is possible with sub-70nm finFETs

Peter Peumans is CTO Health technologies at IMEC.

Related links and articles:

www.imec-int.com

News articles:

Biological sensing transistor made available for Covid-19 testing

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