Single electron devices could operate at room temperature

Single electron devices could operate at room temperature
Steve Bush Room temperature single-electron devices could result from a joint research programme between electronic device physicists and chemists at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. So far, all single electron logic and memory devices have operated at cryogenic temperatures. “With single-electron devices, you need to make them smaller if they are to work at higher temperatures,” said Notre Dame’s Dr Wolfgang Porod. “You need to go to truly molecular sizes.” And that is what he is trying to do. One form of single-electron device is similar to a double-four domino, where the eight spots are quantum dots. Electron interaction between the ends can form the basis of storage and logic devices. Porod wants very small dots. “In the order of 1nm, or maybe up to 10nm,” he said. Looking for such small dots, Porod approached the University chemistry department and found them already making something very similar to what was needed, he said, a molecule with a usable pattern of sites sticking out of it. “Now we have to analyse it to see if the appropriate behaviour exists,” he said. To do this, Porod will isolate individual molecules on a semiconductor surface and measure them.


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