Breakthroughs in low-power smaller silicon devices

25 February 2010

A symposium that will reveal new methods for making low-power, lighter, smarter and more economical computers and mobile phones will take place at the University of Southampton soon.

Professor Hiroshi Mizuta, Head of the Nano Research Group at the University’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), whose research interest is in the development of novel nano-electronic devices, will host the 2010 International Symposium on Atom-scale Silicon Hybrid Nanotechnologies for ‘More-than-Moore’ and ‘Beyond CMOS’ era on 1 and 2 March at the University.

The key themes that will be addressed at the conference include single-dopants, electron spins and nano-electro-mechanical systems (NEMS) hybrid technologies. A theme of particular interest to the future of working with silicon is silicon single-dopant and electron spin technology, for which six academics will present cutting-edge nanotechnologies for working with dopants (impurities) in silicon.

“This is a very important area as dopants and electron spins in a silicon device are not controlled yet,” said Professor Mizuta. “As devices get smaller, the position of the dopant will affect the performance of transistors, so, as there will always be dopants in silicon, it is crucial that we find ways to detect and control them in a manner which maximises the performance of smaller, low-power devices. Furthermore, electron spins associated with dopants in silicon may provide a new pathway to faster information processing devices and higher capacity storage.”

In the opening session, ‘Top-down and bottom-up silicon nanodevice technologies’, which takes place at 09:30 on 1 March, Dr. M. T. Björk, IBM Zurich, will describe the impact of dopant atoms on the operation of silicon nanowire devices.

This is followed by the afternoon session, ‘Silicon single-dopant device technology’, which takes place at 15:40, in which Professor Michiharu Tabe, Shizuoka University, will demonstrate Kelvin Force Microscopy at low temperature to observe the impurities embedded in silicon devices. In this session, Professor Sven Rogge from TU Delft and Dr Yukinori Ono, NTT Basic Research Labs, will also illustrate electrical methods for detecting dopants and illustrate the effects of running a current through silicon which has very few impurities.

The theme will be discussed in the session ‘Silicon-based quantum information technology’ which takes place at 09:00 on 2 March when Dr. Andrew Ferguson, University of Cambridge and Dr. John Morton, University of Oxford, will describe the donor nuclear spins and electron spins towards silicon spin-based quantum information processing.

In the following session, ‘Silicon-based nanoelectromechanical (NEM) hybrid systems’ on 2 March at 10:50, Professor Mizuta will illustrate with Professor Oda of Tokyo Institute of Technology, how one electron interacts with mechanical vibration of silicon NEM structure and loses energy in silicon at nanoscale.

The 2010 International Symposium on Atom-scale Silicon Hybrid Nanotechnologies for ‘More-than-Moore’ and ‘Beyond CMOS’ will be held at Garden Court, University of Southampton, and is sponsored by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

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