Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Re-thinking electronics – from the bottom up

Abstract:
More than 70 graduate students from across the country and Purdue University are on campus this week to learn about a new approach to 21st century electronic materials and devices.

Re-thinking electronics – from the bottom up

West Lafayette, IN | Posted on July 28th, 2009

A team of Purdue faculty and students is developing this new approach to provide a conceptual and computational framework for applications of nanoelectronics to tackle challenges in information processing and storage, energy, the environment and in technologies for health care.

"Electronics from the Bottom Up" summer schools are conducted annually and then freely distributed through nanoHUB.org, a resource for the nanoscience and technology communities that serves nearly 100,000 users per year, half of them outside of the United States. Through a new collaboration with World Scientific, an international science publisher, low-cost lecture notes for these courses will be made available to students to complement lectures on the nanoHUB.

"More than 50 years ago, the inventors of the transistor and their colleagues at Bell Laboratories defined the intellectual foundation for the field of semiconductor electronics," said Mark Lundstrom, Purdue's Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "That framework has served the field well, leading to products from shirt pocket radios to supercomputers and cell phones. Today, it is widely felt that the future of electronics lies in nanotechnology."

When exploring new ideas for nanotechnologies, however, the traditional framework that has served researchers is frequently not the best way to think about these new problems, he said.

"What we need is to complement the traditional approach with the new insights and understanding emerging from research in nanoscience," Lundstrom said. "In the process we are led to a new, comprehensive framework that can guide the evolution of electronic devices and materials in the 21st century."

The new approach can be traced to pioneering research more than a decade ago on molecular electronics by a team at Purdue led by Supriyo Datta, the Thomas Duncan Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

"To understand the experiments that were being done, we had to take a whole new approach to electronics," says Datta. "Surprisingly, this new approach is simpler than the traditional approach and often makes cutting edge research easier to understand."

Datta teaches this material, which is usually considered appropriate for advanced graduate students, to undergraduate students at Purdue in what has become a popular course in the of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Courses are taught at Purdue, and materials, including videos of lectures, are provided on the nanoHUB.

The short courses being taught this week have attracted top graduate students from around the nation.

This summer's graduate course focuses on treating randomness and reliability in electronics.

"In microelectronics today, the period at the end of this sentence would contain hundreds of thousands of transistors," said Ashraf Alam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. And at this size, even a small variation in the properties of transistors can lead to dramatic variations in performance. In this summer school, we are teaching students how to think about the variability and randomness in a fundamentally new way. With the right set of tools, randomness need not be unpredictable."

Electronics from the Bottom Up is the most popular content on the nanoHUB, Lundstrom said.

"We think we have the right approach to this new field of nanoelectronics -- one that will serve as a foundation for many years," he said.

Purdue is collaborating with science publisher World Scientific to provide lecture notes and, eventually, textbooks based on the new approach. The World Scientific collaboration could speed the widespread adoption of the method, Lundstrom said.

The collaboration may lead to full-length books, also to be published by World Scientific, that will serve as textbooks and references for electronic devices and materials. World Scientific and the Purdue team will produce four volumes of material over three years. Low-cost lecture notes are expected to be priced in the $25 range.

The nanoHUB is operated by the Network for Computational Nanotechnology, or NCN, a six-university network funded by the National Science Foundation and based at Purdue. The Intel Foundation also provides support.

Today, researchers exploring nanoelectronics often apply techniques for microelectronics that they learned while students. Microelectronic device dimensions are measured in microns and nanoelectronic devices in nanometers -- a millionth or billionth of a meter, respectively.

Electronics from the Bottom Up begins by understanding the smallest structures and then builds that understanding up to the micro and even macro scales. One example is using nanotechnology to measure the electrical properties of single molecule devices. Although ordinarily a daunting task even for the most skilled researchers, seniors in Datta's course calculate the properties of molecular electronic devices within the first few weeks.

"A single molecule is a rather simple thing compared to a big chunk of silicon," Lundstrom said. " But if you try to apply concepts developed for silicon microelectronic devices to single molecule devices, they can look very complicated. If you approach the problem from the bottom up, it not only looks much simpler, it also provides a clearer description of what is happening."

The new approach is made possible by the capability -- developed about a decade ago -- of studying the electrical properties of molecule-size structures. Metal contacts are placed at either end of a molecule and voltage is applied, yielding information about its electrical characteristics.

Datta reasoned that this newly developed capability of measuring the electronic properties of single molecules could lead to a more general approach to understanding electronic conduction in small devices. "Too much time is spent teaching students about concepts and issues specific to large conductors that cannot even be applied to small conductors," Datta said. "In order to teach students, especially undergraduates, I developed a very different approach that allowed people to get into cutting-edge research, almost from day one."

The initial materials in the educational initiative are being developed by Datta, Lundstrom and Alam.

World Scientific, headquartered in Singapore, publishes more than 400 books and about 80 journals a year in the fields of science, technology, medicine, and business and management.

####

About Purdue University
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six campuses within the Purdue University System.[1] With its highly competitive engineering curriculum and its leading programs in aerospace, electrical, and mechanical, Purdue is consistently regarded as one of the top technology schools in the world.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709,

Sources: Mark Lundstrom, 765-494-3515,

Supriyo Datta, 765-494-2706,

Ashraf Alam, 765-494-6441,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Copyright © Purdue 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 Links

nanoHUB

Related News Press

News and information

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Proposed Underwritten Offering of Common Stock January 17th, 2018

Academic/Education

Luleå University of Technology is using the Deben CT5000TEC stage to perform x-ray microtomography experiments with the ZEISS Xradia 510 Versa to understand deformation and strain inside inhomogeneous materials November 7th, 2017

Park Systems Announces the Grand Opening of the Park NanoScience Center at SUNY Polytechnic Institute November 3rd, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Chip Technology

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing January 17th, 2018

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion: New type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science January 16th, 2018

New oxide and semiconductor combination builds new device potential: Researchers integrated oxide two-dimensional electron gases with gallium arsenide and paved the way toward new opto-electrical devices January 10th, 2018

Memory Technology

Ultra-thin memory storage device paves way for more powerful computing January 17th, 2018

Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity based on laser-cooled atoms December 15th, 2017

Leti Breakthroughs Point Way to Significant Improvements in SoC Memories December 6th, 2017

Scientists make transparent materials absorb light December 1st, 2017

Nanoelectronics

Viewing atomic structures of dopant atoms in 3-D relating to electrical activity in a semiconductor December 28th, 2017

Electronically-smooth '3-D graphene': A bright future for trisodium bismuthide: Electronically-smooth nature of trisodium bismuthide makes it a viable alternative to graphene/h-BN December 22nd, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Fudan Team to Deliver Next Generation Dual Interface Smart Card November 14th, 2017

Announcements

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Proposed Underwritten Offering of Common Stock January 17th, 2018

Environment

Rice U.'s one-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air: NSF-funded NEWT Center aims for catalytic converter for nitrate-polluted water January 5th, 2018

'Quantum material' has shark-like ability to detect small electrical signals December 20th, 2017

Silicon Sense first to achieve EPA approval to import detonation nanodiamonds to US: Nanodiamond additives can significantly improve the performance of metal finishing, polymer thermal and mechanical compounds, polymer coatings, CMP polishing and a range of other applications November 29th, 2017

Report highlights opportunities and risks associated with synthetic biology and bioengineering November 22nd, 2017

Energy

Ultrathin black phosphorus for solar-driven hydrogen economy: Osaka University researchers use sunlight to make hydrogen with a new nanostructured catalyst based on nanosheets of black phosphorus and bismuth vanadate January 17th, 2018

New catalyst for hydrogen production is a step toward clean fuel: Carbon-based nanocomposite with embedded metal ions yields impressive performance as catalyst for electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen January 16th, 2018

Rice U.'s one-step catalyst turns nitrates into water and air: NSF-funded NEWT Center aims for catalytic converter for nitrate-polluted water January 5th, 2018

Tweaking quantum dots powers-up double-pane solar windows: Engineered quantum dots could bring down the cost of solar electricity January 2nd, 2018

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