Thursday, July 22, 2010

US Patent 7759160 - Nanoparticle antifuse

Antifuses are used in some programmable logic devices to switch from a high resistance to a low resistance state. This patent teaches a variation of nanoparticle antifuse using point-like electrodes to melt the nanoparticles causing a short. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming electrically conducting or semiconducting pathways on a substrate comprising a nanoparticle-containing layer, the nanoparticles in the layer comprising conducting or semiconducting material, the method comprising

applying a voltage over the nanoparticle-containing layer so as to locally increase the conductivity of the layer, the voltage being high enough to melt the nanoparticles in a breakthrough-like manner, wherein the voltage is applied from point-like electrodes laterally to the nanoparticle-containing layer in order to produce a wire-like formation on the substrate.