Enabling Tomorrow's devices
Lauren Otto holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota. She has extensive research experience in optics, nanofabrication, materials, and devices including sensors, solar cells, and hard drive heads. Her passion for nanoscale materials issues in data storage devices was instilled in her while an intern at HGST, now part of Western Digital Corporation. She completed her thesis work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Molecular Foundry, where she developed techniques aimed at industrial deposition of plasmonic titanium nitride. Her work has resulted in over ten peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings. She also holds B.S. and B.A. degrees in physics and mathematics from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN.
She began co-developing Laminera’s technology with Adam Schwartzberg and Shaul Aloni, both Molecular Foundry staff scientists, as well as Aeron Hammack, an industry scientist and entrepreneur.
Critical need: Next-generation data storage and processing chips are vital to our growing data needs via their improved capacity and efficiency, but they are experiencing significant delays to market due to materials and processing challenges at the nanoscale, which are prevalent in conducting materials like metals.
Technology vision: Laminera seeks to enable tomorrow’s electronic devices by offering new processing and materials for ultrathin (<10 nm) conductors used on-chip.
Current state-of-the-art: Currently, conductive materials are deposited using physical vapor deposition, chemical vapor deposition, and thermal or plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition.
Key innovation: Laminera is developing a new form of atomic layer deposition and applying it to conductive ceramic materials such as titanium nitride. Our processing will enable new chemistries and higher quality films deposited in ultrathin layers at lower temperatures to mitigate production challenges at smaller node sizes.
Competing technology: Thermal or plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition, alternative metals or metal alloys.
First market hypothesis: Next-generation dynamic random access memory (DRAM), integrated circuits, NAND flash, or hard disk drives.
Potential for impact: Laminera’s technology offers a means for achieving smaller node size devices that achieve their production forecast, contribute to a healthy data economy, and can reduce the chip-level energy consumption as data demand grows. Continuing technology release delays will cause data energy use to scale with the additional number of chips necessary to meet the 30 percent per year increasing data demand.
Contact: Lauren Otto (lauren [at] laminera [dot] io)
Banner photo: Adam Schwartzberg