Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Quantum Computer Chips Now One Step Closer To Reality

Paul Berger
Paul Berger

Abstract:
In the quest for smaller, faster computer chips, researchers are increasingly turning to quantum mechanics -- the exotic physics of the small.

Quantum Computer Chips Now One Step Closer To Reality

Columbus, OH | Posted on October 16th, 2009

The problem: the manufacturing techniques required to make quantum devices have been equally exotic.

That is, until now.

Researchers at Ohio State University have discovered a way to make quantum devices using technology common to the chip-making industry today.

This work might one day enable faster, low-power computer chips. It could also lead to high-resolution cameras for security and public safety, and cameras that provide clear vision through bad weather.

Paul Berger, professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of physics at Ohio State University, and his colleagues report their findings in an upcoming issue of IEEE Electron Device Letters.

The team fabricated a device called a tunneling diode using the most common chip-making technique, called chemical vapor deposition.

"We wanted to do this using only the tools found in the typical chip-makers toolbox," Berger said. "Here we have a technique that manufacturers could potentially use to fabricate quantum devices directly on a silicon chip, side-by-side with their regular circuits and switches."

The quantum device in question is a resonant interband tunneling diode (RITD) -- a device that enables large amounts of current to be regulated through a circuit, but at very low voltages. That means that such devices run on very little power.

RITDs have been difficult to manufacture because they contain dopants -- chemical elements -- that don't easily fit within a silicon crystal.

Atoms of the RITD dopants antimony or phosphorus, for example, are large compared to atoms of silicon. Because they don't fit into the natural openings inside a silicon crystal, the dopants tend to collect on the surface of a chip.

"It's like when you're playing Tetris and you have a big block raining down, and only a small square to fit it in. The block has to sit on top," Berger said. "When you're building up layers of silicon, these dopants don't readily fit in. Eventually, they clump together on top of the chip."

In the past, researchers have tried adding the dopants while growing the silicon wafer one crystal layer at a time -- using a slow and expensive process called molecular beam epitaxy, a method which is challenging for high-volume manufacturing. That process also creates too many defects within the silicon.

Berger discovered that RITD dopants could be added during chemical vapor deposition, in which a gas carries the chemical elements to the surface of a wafer many layers at a time. The key was determining the right reactor conditions to deliver the dopants to the silicon, he found.

"One key is hydrogen," he said. "It binds to the silicon surface and keeps the dopants from clumping. So you don't have to grow chips at 320 degrees Celsius [approximately 600 degrees Fahrenheit] like you do when using molecular beam epitaxy. You can actually grow them at a higher temperature like 600 degrees Celsius [more than 1100 degrees Fahrenheit] at a lower cost, and with fewer crystal defects."

Tunneling diodes are so named because they exploit a quantum mechanical effect known as tunneling, which lets electrons pass through thin barriers unhindered.

In theory, interband tunneling diodes could form very dense, very efficient micro-circuits in computer chips. A large amount of data could be stored in a small area on a chip with very little energy required.

Researchers judge the usefulness of tunneling diodes by the abrupt change in the current densities they carry, a characteristic known as "peak-to-valley ratio." Different ratios are appropriate for different kinds of devices. Logic circuits such as those on a computer chip are best suited by a ratio of about 2.

The RITDs that Berger's team fabricated had a ratio of 1.85. "We're close, and I'm sure we can do better," he said.

He envisions his RITDs being used for ultra-low-power computer chips operating with small voltages and producing less wasted heat.

"Chip makers today are having a great difficulty boosting performance in each generation, so they pack chips with more and more circuitry, and end up generating a lot of heat," Berger said. "That's why a laptop computer is often too hot to actually sit atop your lap. Soon, their heat output will rival that of a nuclear reactor per unit volume."

"That's why moving to quantum devices will be a game-changer."

RITDs could form high-resolution detectors for imaging devices called focal plane arrays. These arrays operate at wavelengths beyond the human eye and can permit detection of concealed weapons and improvised explosive devices. They can also provide vision through rain, snow, fog, and even mild dust storms, for improved airplane and automobile safety, Berger said. Medical imaging of cancerous tumors is another potential application.

His coauthors on the paper included Si-Young Park, and R. Anisha, both doctoral students in electrical engineering at Ohio State; and Roger Loo, Ngoc Duy Nguyen, Shotaro Takeuchi, and Matty Caymax, all of IMEC, an industrial research center in Belgium.

This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation.

####

About Ohio State University
The Ohio State University (OSU) is a public research university located in Columbus, Ohio. It was founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and is currently the largest single-campus university in the United States. Ohio State is currently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the best public university in Ohio, among the top 150 universities in the world, among the top 60 universities in the United States, and among the top 20 public universities in the United States. Ohio State has been officially designated as the flagship institution of the state's public system of higher education by the newly centralized University System of Ohio.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Paul R. Berger
(614) 247-6235


Written by Pam Frost Gorder
(614) 292-9475

Copyright © Ohio State 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

Nanotech-enabled moisturizer speeds healing of diabetic skin wounds: Spherical nucleic acids silence gene that interferes with wound healing April 24th, 2015

Fast and accurate 3-D imaging technique to track optically trapped particles April 24th, 2015

Pseudoparticles travel through photoactive material: KIT scientists measure important process in the conversion of light energy -- publication in Nature Communications April 24th, 2015

Scientists Use Nanoscale Building Blocks and DNA 'Glue' to Shape 3D Superlattices: New approach to designing ordered composite materials for possible energy applications April 23rd, 2015

Law enforcement/Anti-Counterfeiting/Security/Loss prevention

Better sensors for medical imaging, contraband detection: Magnetic-field detector is 1,000 times more efficient than its predecessors April 6th, 2015

Optics, nanotechnology combined to create low-cost sensor for gases April 3rd, 2015

UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests March 27th, 2015

Pens filled with high-tech inks for do-it-yourself sensors March 3rd, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

ORNL reports method that takes quantum sensing to new level April 23rd, 2015

Electron spin brings order to high entropy alloys April 23rd, 2015

Scientists Use Nanoscale Building Blocks and DNA 'Glue' to Shape 3D Superlattices: New approach to designing ordered composite materials for possible energy applications April 23rd, 2015

New class of 3D-printed aerogels improve energy storage April 22nd, 2015

Possible Futures

Printing Silicon on Paper, with Lasers April 21st, 2015

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill: By coupling photons to atoms, light in a glass fiber can be slowed down to the speed of an express train; for a short while it can even be brought to a complete stop April 9th, 2015

Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market is expected to reach $8.5 Billion by 2019 March 25th, 2015

Nanotechnology Enabled Drug Delivery to Influence Future Diagnosis and Treatments of Diseases March 21st, 2015

Chip Technology

Surface matters: Huge reduction of heat conduction observed in flat silicon channels April 23rd, 2015

Drexel materials scientists putting a new spin on computing memory April 22nd, 2015

Printing Silicon on Paper, with Lasers April 21st, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Quantum Computing

NIST tightens the bounds on the quantum information 'speed limit' April 13th, 2015

Electrical control of quantum bits in silicon paves the way to large quantum computers: Breakthrough by Australian-led team should make the construction of large-scale quantum computers more affordable April 11th, 2015

OU physicists first to create new molecule with record-setting dipole moment April 4th, 2015

Quantum teleportation on a chip: A significant step towards ultra-high speed quantum computers April 1st, 2015

Nanoelectronics

Surface matters: Huge reduction of heat conduction observed in flat silicon channels April 23rd, 2015

New class of 3D-printed aerogels improve energy storage April 22nd, 2015

‘Oxford Instruments Young Nanoscientist India Award 2015’ to Prof. Arindam Ghosh April 20th, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Announcements

Nanotech-enabled moisturizer speeds healing of diabetic skin wounds: Spherical nucleic acids silence gene that interferes with wound healing April 24th, 2015

Fast and accurate 3-D imaging technique to track optically trapped particles April 24th, 2015

Pseudoparticles travel through photoactive material: KIT scientists measure important process in the conversion of light energy -- publication in Nature Communications April 24th, 2015

Surface matters: Huge reduction of heat conduction observed in flat silicon channels April 23rd, 2015

Homeland Security

UCLA nanoscientists are first to model atomic structures of three bacterial nanomachines: Cryo electron microscope enables scientists to explore the frontiers of targeted antibiotics April 21st, 2015

Optics, nanotechnology combined to create low-cost sensor for gases April 3rd, 2015

The Universitat Politècnica de València is coordinating a European project to develop a device for the quick and early diagnosis of cancer March 7th, 2015

Detecting chemical weapons with a color-changing film January 28th, 2015

Military

Electron spin brings order to high entropy alloys April 23rd, 2015

Engineer improves rechargeable batteries with MoS2 nano 'sandwich' April 18th, 2015

Cobalt film a clean-fuel find: Rice University discovery is efficient, robust at drawing hydrogen and oxygen from water April 15th, 2015

MIT sensor detects spoiled meat: Tiny device could be incorporated into 'smart packaging' to improve food safety April 15th, 2015

Quantum nanoscience

Quantum 'paparazzi' film photons in the act of pairing up April 22nd, 2015

From metal to insulator and back again April 22nd, 2015

Quantum model reveals surface structure of water: National Physical Laboratory, IBM and Edinburgh University have used a new quantum model to reveal the molecular structure of water's liquid surface April 20th, 2015

Quantization of 'surface Dirac states' could lead to exotic applications April 15th, 2015

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