June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.69.1 - 14.69.9
A Nanotechnology Research and Education Effort at SUNY-Oneonta
The SUNY College at Oneonta collaborated in the DOE/ NYNBIT (New York Nano-Bio- molecular Information Technology) Incubator project10, initiated by a group of New York universities, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica, NY in the years 2006-2008, with a two-prong proposal for a feasibility study in the areas of Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata (QCA) and Nano-wire technology. The availability of equipment such as thermal evaporation units, a spin-coater and a furnace at SUNY-Oneonta, access to an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) at the New York University and, the purchase of some optical equipment on the grant for LG beams have made this feasibility study a successful venture that leads to future possibilities worth pursuing. An educational outcome of this project has been undergraduate student research8 and contribution to a DOE/NYNBIT summer camp organized by SUNY Institute of Technology on the foundations of nanotechnology for selected high school seniors and teachers10.
Limits of shrinking devices
The serious limitations experienced in the miniaturization of devices with the current-switch paradigm of turning the current “on” and “off” giving binary digits 0 and 1 include the inability to turn the current on and off cleanly, needing longer time to charge the interconnect lines between devices, presence of large statistical current fluctuations caused by charge quantization, occurrence of considerable energy dissipation.
At the macroscopic level of large dimension devices, charges are considered to flow in a continuous manner making the flow of current analogous to fluid flow so that the laws of fluid mechanics can be applied to the motion of charges. In miniaturized structures, however, charges can no longer be treated as a continuous fluid and need to be quantized into finite and small numbers that follow the laws of quantum mechanics. For such structures a noticeable fluctuation in voltage is observed due to the tunneling or similar effect of a quantum of charge moving from one conductor to another causing a change of energy and potential. The reduction in the capacitance with the shrinking size in the relationship between charge, voltage and capacitance Q = C V is at the root of this sensitivity since at a capacitance of 10-17F or less, V is likely to be larger than the thermal voltage for a single electron moving from one side to the other1. Such effects cause degradation in the performance of CMOS technology ultimately limiting the device densities attainable with transistors. These limits have led to the growing importance of developing alternative bottom up approaches such as nano-technology which allows scaling at the limits of molecular dimensions. QCA and nano-wires are two such approaches and our interest in these two areas has been guided by the PI’s prior experience in the field of Quantum Information Technology using Laguerre Gaussian beams of laser light acquired during her senior fellowship from the US National Academy of the Sciences.
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