Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Scaling down to diamond quantum electronics

Dr Pakes, right, and honours student Andrew Ford in the La Trobe Physics laboratory.
Dr Pakes, right, and honours student Andrew Ford in the La Trobe Physics laboratory.

Abstract:
Over the past three decades researchers have been competing to reduce the size of basic electronic devices. Intel has been leading the commercial effort with its recent announcement of the 'Atom' processor which incorporates transistors on the scale of tens of nanometres.

Scaling down to diamond quantum electronics

Victoria, Australia | Posted on July 28th, 2008

One nanometre is equal to a millionth of a metre so Intel's silicon chip is certainly winning on economies of scale.

La Trobe physicist Chris Pakes is aiming to scale the technology down further into the realm of quantum physics. He and co-researchers are talking about one-dimensional nano-wires and individual atoms performing the tasks of transistors, not using silicon, but diamond.

Dr Pakes and Professor John Riley lead an international team that has received one million dollars in research funding to investigate the semi-conductor properties of diamond as a new material for nano-chips.

Diamonds are now being made artificially. They come as single crystals, numbered and packaged in grids for the laboratory.

At La Trobe the stones end up in a scanning tunnelling microscope where they get plenty of loving attention as physicists fiddle with molecules called fullerenes, finding ways of pushing them into patterns on the diamond surface to form tiny electronic components.

A chain of fullerenes will induce in the diamond a wire one nanometre wide, operating at the quantum level. Here, a new set of functions comes into play. Particles will begin to behave like waves, electrons will travel in a more orderly fashion - one at a time - and the mathematical equations that normally govern electronics will no longer apply.

'If you take a standard piece of wire and increase its width, the wire's conductivity will increase over a continuous range of values,' Dr Pakes says. 'In quantum electronics if you take a nano-wire and change its width continuously you get a discrete set of properties. Resistance, for example, will relate to the 'quantised' energy levels of an electron when it is confined in the nano-wire.'

This is fundamental physics; experimental nanotechnology being built from the ground up, circuitry being laid one molecule at a time.

'There may be applications twenty to thirty years down the track in a quantum device or computer,' the physicist says. 'If this research works, and can be scaled up, computer power will be orders of magnitude greater.'

Diamond has several advantages over silicon, he says. Some quantum effects for example can be demonstrated at room temperature, giving them greater commercial potential.

'I believe it's by looking at fundamental science that real progress will be made in nano-industries. Diamonds are hard to work with, but if we can control them at the atomic scale we can potentially control them at any scale.

'In terms of research much of the exciting work has happened in the last five years. They are a relatively new material.'

The research funding includes $718,000 from an ARC Discovery Grant and an ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Grant, which went towards buying a low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscope.

Collaborators include scientists from the University of Nottingham (UK), Kavli Institute of Nanoscience (Netherlands) and the Univeristaet Erlangen (Germany).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Mark Pearce
Tel: +61 3 9479 5246
Fax: +61 3 9479 1387
Email: m.pearce
@latrobe.edu.au

Ernest Raetz
Tel: +61 3 9479 2315
Fax: +61 3 9479 1387
Email: e.raetz @latrobe.edu.au

Copyright © La Trobe University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Academic/Education

AIM Photonics Announces Release of Process Design Kit (PDK) for Integrated Silicon Photonics Design August 25th, 2016

Nanotech Security Featured by Simon Fraser University: Company's Anti-Counterfeiting Technology Developed With the Help of University's 4D LABS Materials Research Institute August 21st, 2016

W.M. Keck Foundation awards Cal State LA a $375,000 research and education grant August 4th, 2016

Thomas Swan and NGI announce unique partnership July 28th, 2016

Chip Technology

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

Silicon nanoparticles trained to juggle light: Research findings prove the capabilities of silicon nanoparticles for flexible data processing in optical communication systems August 25th, 2016

AIM Photonics Announces Release of Process Design Kit (PDK) for Integrated Silicon Photonics Design August 25th, 2016

Discoveries

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Announcements

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Quantum nanoscience

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

Prototype chip could help make quantum computing practical: Built-in optics could enable chips that use trapped ions as quantum bits August 9th, 2016

Diamond-based light sources will lay a foundation for quantum communications of the future: Electrified quantum diamond can become the heart of quantum networks and computers of the future August 7th, 2016

Scientists discover light could exist in a previously unknown form August 6th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic