graphene

Chiral powers next-generation electronics with nanomaterials

Feb. 27, 2024
Speed, precision and control can transform future chipmaking

Chipmaking has become a critical technology, driven by the continuous scaling of silicon technology. But advances in silicon technology are reaching their physical limits. For this reason, industry has been investing in nanomaterials like carbon nanotube, graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), which are expected to enable chips with functionality. However, making electronic devices with these extremely small materials at speed, with precision, and without compromising on quality has been an obstacle.

Nanotechnology company Chiral hopes its expertise in nanotechnology, automation and high-precision robotics will be pivotal in moving beyond silicon to the next generation of electronics.

Research has evidenced the use case and impact of nanomaterials across a range of electronics including high-performance transistors, low-power sensors and quantum devices, according to Chiral.

Chiral has built high-speed, automated, robotic machines that integrate nanomaterials into devices. These machines can robotically place micrometer-sized or even nanometer-sized materials on small chips.

The development of Chiral’s technology started as a national research project conducted at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Zurich, EPFL and Empa), in which the company’s co-founders, Seoho Jung, Natanael Lanz and Andre Butzerin participated as PhD students. After four years of research and development (R&D), the team finished its first prototype machine. They incorporated Chiral in June 2023.

“At Chiral, we are pioneering the next generation of electronic devices across industry,” said Seoho Jung, co-founder and CEO at Chiral. “Chipmakers are aware of the potential of nanomaterials and we’re bringing that potential to life. This funding will accelerate the development of our next machine, which will unlock new market opportunities with its versatility and performance. We are also excited to scale our team to keep up with the growing demand and customer base."

Pascal Mathis, founding partner at Founderful, commented: “We're thrilled to join forces with Chiral alongside HCVC. Chiral's AI- and robotics-based technology lets us envision a future where nanomaterial-based chips are being produced at the scale needed for commercialization. We look forward to supporting Seoho, Natanael and André in their journey to introduce a new paradigm of chips beyond silicon.”

Alexis Houssou, founding partner at HCVC, commented: “With the current boom in AI applications, we stand at a pivotal moment where the slowdown of Moore's law threatens to decelerate the pace of technological progress significantly. The team at Chiral has embarked on a critical mission to pave the way toward a groundbreaking post-silicon era, promising to transcend current limitations and unlock new possibilities for advancement.”