Silicon at the Atomic and Molecular scale
Start date: Oct 1, 2013,
End date: Sep 30, 2016
SiAM aims at exploiting in future ICT devices and circuits the atomic nature of dopants used throughout microelectronics. The key idea is to use the very sharp, deep and reproducible potential created by a dopant in a semiconductor host crystal. Despite its small size (on the scale of the Bohr radius), the donor state of a single dopant can be addressed with conventional lithography techniques, and is therefore perfectly suitable for realistic devices exploiting the quantum nature of single atoms.The project relies on:- The extremely mature silicon technology in which, however, no quantum mechanical or atomic properties are at play when dopant atoms are used.- The very atomic nature of these dopants.The consortium will investigate dopants:- At the device level, with the demonstration of atomic devices (single dopant) and molecular devices (coupled dopants). A crucial effort towards integration of deterministic implantation in CMOS technology will be made.- In the theoretical understanding, for exploiting the specific features of dopant-based devices, especially time-dependent processes.- At the system level, with circuits exploiting the atomic characteristics of dopant based devices.The consortium brings together three methods for fabricating single-atom transistors: top-down silicon fabrication, bottom-up growth of nanowires and Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM)-assisted fabrication. This is a unique combination of expertises only available in Europe. In addition, metrology and theory experts will exploit time-dependent phenomena in atomic devices for applications such as electron pumps.Another opportunity is to address directly the spin of a single dopant and make use of its extremely long coherence time to make a single atom quantum bit, crucial for applications in spintronics and quantum computation.Target outcomes:- Dopant-based devices: (i) atomically-precise dopant junctions realized with STM-assisted hydrogen resist lithography, (ii) single-atom transistors and pumps made in a silicon foundry and (iii) single atom spin quantum bit made in bottom-up silicon nanowires.- Time-dependent theory: the apparent limitation of non-adiabaticity will be turned into an advantage \tby exploiting the dynamical delays due to non-adiabaticity for robust single-gate operation.- Integration of the dopant-based CMOS devices in a circuit will be realized. STM-assisted lithography will be performed on silicon-on-insulator wafers with special surface preparation and capping, in order to avoid the usual surface preparation at very high temperature. Finally, the development of nanovias will pave the way for reintegration of STM defined donor device chips into a CMOS flowchart.
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