Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Down to the wire: Silicon links shrink to atomic scale: Silicon links shrink to atomic scale

Michelle Simmons and Bent Weber from UNSW
Michelle Simmons and Bent Weber from UNSW

Abstract:
- The narrowest conducting wires in silicon ever produced are shown to have the same electrical current carrying capability as copper, as published in Science. - This means electrical interconnects in silicon can be shrunk to the atomic-scale without losing their functionality - Ohm's law holds true at the atomic-scale. - UNSW researchers will use these wires to address individual atoms - a key step in realising a scalable quantum computer.

Down to the wire: Silicon links shrink to atomic scale: Silicon links shrink to atomic scale

Sydney, Australia | Posted on January 7th, 2012

The narrowest conducting wires in silicon ever made - just four atoms wide and one atom tall - have been shown to have the same electrical current carrying capability of copper, according to a new study published today in the journal Science.

Despite their astonishingly tiny diameter - 10,000 times thinner than a human hair - these wires have exceptionally good electrical properties, raising hopes they will serve to connect atomic-scale components in the quantum computers of tomorrow.

"Interconnecting wiring of this scale will be vital for the development of future atomic-scale electronic circuits," says the lead author of the study, Bent Weber, a PhD student in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia.

The wires were made by precisely placing chains of phosphorus atoms within a silicon crystal, according to the study, which includes researchers from the University of Melbourne and Purdue University in the US.

The researchers discovered that the electrical resistivity of their wires - a measure of the ease with which electrical current can flow - does not depend on the wire width. Their behaviour is described by Ohm's law, which is a fundamental law of physics taught to every high school student.

"It is extraordinary to show that such a basic law still holds even when constructing a wire from the fundamental building blocks of nature - atoms," says Weber.

The discovery demonstrates that electrical interconnects in silicon can shrink to atomic dimensions without loss of functionality, says the Centre's Director and leader of the research, Professor Michelle Simmons.

"Driven by the semiconductor industry, computer chip components continuously shrink in size allowing ever smaller and more powerful computers," Simmons says.

"Over the past 50 years this paradigm has established the microelectronics industry as one of the key drivers for global economic growth. A major focus of the Centre of Excellence at UNSW is to push this technology to the next level to develop a silicon-based quantum computer, where single atoms serve as the individual units of computation," she says.

"It will come down to the wire. We are on the threshold of making transistors out of individual atoms. But to build a practical quantum computer we have recognised that the interconnecting wiring and circuitry also needs to shrink to the atomic scale."

Creating such tiny components has been made possible using a technique called scanning tunnelling microscopy. "This technique not only allows us to image individual atoms but also to manipulate them and place them in position," says Weber.

####

About University of New South Wales
The University of New South Wales is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities, ranked in the top 50 universities worldwide and renowned for the quality of its graduates.

UNSW is a founding member of the prestigious Group of Eight - a coalition of Australia’s leading research intensive universities.

Recognised as one of the heavyweights of Australian higher education, UNSW consistently scores highly in a range of national and international rankings.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Professor Michelle Simmons
61-425-336-756

UNSW Media Office
Mary O'Malley
61-438-881-124

Copyright © University of New South Wales

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

High-speed FM-AFM and simulation reveal atomistic dissolution processes of calcite in water July 28th, 2017

Atomic movies may help explain why perovskite solar cells are more efficient: SLAC's ultrafast 'electron camera' captures surprising atomic motions in these next-generation materials July 28th, 2017

Triple-layer catalyst does double duty: Rice, University of Houston produce robust catalyst to split water into hydrogen, oxygen July 28th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2017 Third Quarter Results July 27th, 2017

Videos/Movies

Nanotech Advances Future Mobile Devices and Wearable Technology July 5th, 2017

ANU invention may help to protect astronauts from radiation in space July 3rd, 2017

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research-Ben-Gurion U. June 21st, 2017

Graphene and quantum dots put in motion a CMOS-integrated camera that can see the invisible May 29th, 2017

Chip Technology

Atomic discovery opens door to greener, faster, smaller electronic circuitry: Scientists find way to correct communication pathways in silicon chips, making them perfect July 27th, 2017

Strange electrons break the crystal symmetry of high-temperature superconductors: Brookhaven Lab scientists discover spontaneous voltage perpendicular to applied current that may help unravel the mystery of high-temperature superconductors July 27th, 2017

First Capacitive Transducer with 13nm Gap July 27th, 2017

Living computers: RNA circuits transform cells into nanodevices July 27th, 2017

Quantum Computing

Ultracold molecules hold promise for quantum computing: New approach yields long-lasting configurations that could provide long-sought “qubit” material July 27th, 2017

Into the quantum world with a tennis racket: Classical mechanics helps control quantum computers July 6th, 2017

Microsoft, Purdue collaborate to advance quantum computing May 30th, 2017

Looking for the quantum frontier: Beyond classical computing without fault-tolerance? April 27th, 2017

Nanoelectronics

Atomic discovery opens door to greener, faster, smaller electronic circuitry: Scientists find way to correct communication pathways in silicon chips, making them perfect July 27th, 2017

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Antiaromatic molecule displays record electrical conductance July 19th, 2017

A firefly's flash inspires new nanolaser light July 18th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and VeriSilicon To Enable Single-Chip Solution for Next-Gen IoT Networks: Integrated solution leverages GF’s 22FDX® technology to decrease power, area, and cost for NB-IoT and LTE-M applications July 14th, 2017

Discoveries

High-speed FM-AFM and simulation reveal atomistic dissolution processes of calcite in water July 28th, 2017

Atomic movies may help explain why perovskite solar cells are more efficient: SLAC's ultrafast 'electron camera' captures surprising atomic motions in these next-generation materials July 28th, 2017

Triple-layer catalyst does double duty: Rice, University of Houston produce robust catalyst to split water into hydrogen, oxygen July 28th, 2017

First Capacitive Transducer with 13nm Gap July 27th, 2017

Announcements

High-speed FM-AFM and simulation reveal atomistic dissolution processes of calcite in water July 28th, 2017

Atomic movies may help explain why perovskite solar cells are more efficient: SLAC's ultrafast 'electron camera' captures surprising atomic motions in these next-generation materials July 28th, 2017

Triple-layer catalyst does double duty: Rice, University of Houston produce robust catalyst to split water into hydrogen, oxygen July 28th, 2017

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement: Enormous potential for the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents and the creation of tailored nanoparticles July 27th, 2017

Tools

Atomic movies may help explain why perovskite solar cells are more efficient: SLAC's ultrafast 'electron camera' captures surprising atomic motions in these next-generation materials July 28th, 2017

Phenom-World Launches Phenom Pro and ProX Generation 5 SEMs at Microscopy & Microanalysis Conference USA: The excellent performance in a wide range of applications offers a serious alternative to floor model SEMs July 26th, 2017

The School of Materials at the University of Manchester utilise Deben’s mechanical stages to characterise structure and behaviour at the micro- and nano- scale July 25th, 2017

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials: All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques July 22nd, 2017

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