Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Scientists in Singapore develop novel ultra-fast electrical circuits using light-generated tunneling currents

A focused electron beam (in yellow) was used to characterise the structures and to probe the optical properties of two plasmonic resonators bridged by a layer of molecules with a length of 0.5 nm.Credit: Tan Shu Fen, National University of Singapore
A focused electron beam (in yellow) was used to characterise the structures and to probe the optical properties of two plasmonic resonators bridged by a layer of molecules with a length of 0.5 nm.

Credit: Tan Shu Fen, National University of Singapore

Abstract:
Scientists in Singapore have successfully designed and fabricated electrical circuits that can operate at hundreds of terahertz frequencies, which is tens of thousands times faster than today's state-of-the-art microprocessors. This scientific breakthrough has the potential to revolutionise high-speed electronics, nanoscale opto-electronics and nonlinear optics.

Scientists in Singapore develop novel ultra-fast electrical circuits using light-generated tunneling currents

Singapore | Posted on April 10th, 2014

Assistant Professor Christian A. Nijhuis of the Department of Chemistry at the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Faculty of Science, in collaboration with researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), namely Dr Bai Ping of the Institute of High Performance Computing and Dr Michel Bosman of the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, has successfully designed and fabricated electrical circuits that can operate at hundreds of terahertz frequencies, which is tens of thousands times faster than today's state-of-the-art microprocessors.

This novel invention uses a new physical process called ‘quantum plasmonic tunnelling'. By changing the molecules in the molecular electronic device, the frequency of the circuits can be altered in hundreds of terahertz regime. The new circuits can potentially be used to construct ultra-fast computers or single molecule detectors in the future, and open up new possibilities in nano-electronic devices. The study is funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and A*STAR and results of the research were first published in prestigious scientific journal Science on 28 March 2014.

The quest to be super-small and super-fast

Light is used as an information carrier and transmitted in optical fibre cables. Photonic elements are large but they operate at extremely high frequencies of 100 terahertz - about 10,000 times faster than the desktop computer. But current state-of-the-art nano-electronic devices operate at length scales that are much smaller, making it very difficult to combine the ultra-fast properties of photonic elements with nano-scale electronics.

Scientists have long known that light can interact with certain metals and can be captured in the form of plasmons, which are collective, ultra-fast oscillations of electrons that can be manipulated at the nano-scale. The so-called quantum plasmon modes have been theoretically predicted to occur at atomic length scales. However, current state-of-the-art fabrication techniques can only reach length scales that are about five nanometre larger, therefore quantum-plasmon effects have been difficult to investigate.

In this landmark study, the research team demonstrated that quantum-plasmonics is possible at length scales that are useful for real applications. Researchers successfully fabricated an element of a molecular electronic circuit using two plasmonic resonators, which are structures that can capture light in the form of plasmons, bridged by a layer of molecules that is exactly one molecule thick. The layer of molecules switches on the quantum plasmonic tunneling effects, enabling the circuits to operate at terahertz frequencies.

Dr Bosman used an advanced electron microscopy technique to visualise and measure the opto-electronic properties of these structures with nanometer resolution. The measurements revealed the existence of the quantum plasmon mode and that its speed could be controlled by varying the molecular properties of the devices.

By performing quantum-corrected simulations, Dr Bai confirmed that the quantum plasmonic properties could be controlled in the molecular electronic devices at frequencies 10,000 times faster than current processors.

Explaining the significance of the findings, Asst Prof Nijhuis said, "We are very excited by the new findings. Our team is the first to observe the quantum plasmonic tunneling effects directly. This is also the first time that a research team has demonstrated theoretically and experimentally that very fast-switching at optical frequencies are indeed possible in molecular electronic devices."

The results open up possible new design routes for plasmonic-electronics that combines nano-electronics with the fast operating speed of optics.

Further research

To further their research, Asst Prof Nijhuis and his team will look into resolving the challenges that are presented in the course of their work, such as the integration of these devices into real electronic circuits. They are also following up with new ideas that are developed from these results.

####

About National University of Singapore
A leading global university centred in Asia, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university which offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise.

NUS has 16 faculties and schools across three campuses. Its transformative education includes a broad-based curriculum underscored by multi-disciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. Over 37,000 students from 100 countries enrich the community with their diverse social and cultural perspectives.

NUS has three Research Centres of Excellence (RCE) and 23 university-level research institutes and centres. It is also a partner in Singapore’s 5th RCE. NUS shares a close affiliation with 16 national-level research institutes and centres. Research activities are strategic and robust, and NUS is well-known for its research strengths in engineering, life sciences and biomedicine, social sciences and natural sciences. It also strives to create a supportive and innovative environment to promote creative enterprise within its community.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Carolyn Fong
+65 6516 6666

Copyright © National University of Singapore

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

JPK reports on research of the Mestroni Lab at the University of Colorado Denver which use the JPK NanoWizard® AFM to help in the characterization of cardiomyopathies April 24th, 2018

Organic solar cells reach record efficiency, benchmark for commercialization April 23rd, 2018

Remote-control shoots laser at nano-gold to turn on cancer-killing immune cells April 20th, 2018

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Chip Technology

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Salt boosts creation of 2-D materials: Rice University scientists show how salt lowers reaction temperatures to make novel materials April 18th, 2018

When superconductivity disappears in the core of a quantum tube: By replacing the electrons with ultra-cold atoms, a group of physicists has created a perfectly clean material, unveiling new states of matter at the quantum level April 16th, 2018

Nanometrics to Announce First Quarter Financial Results on May 1, 2018 April 10th, 2018

Optical computing/Photonic computing

High-speed and on-silicon-chip graphene blackbody emitters: Integrated light emitters for optical communications April 5th, 2018

Leti Silicon Photonics Design Kit Available in Synopsis OptoDesigner Suite: Kit Contains Design Rules and Building Blocks for Multi-Project Wafers And Custom Runs on Leti’s Si310 Platform April 5th, 2018

MSU-based physicists witnessed the turning of a dielectric into a conductor March 29th, 2018

Smaller and faster: The terahertz computer chip is now within reach: Hebrew university researcher shows proof of concept for nanotechnology that will make computers run 100 times faster March 27th, 2018

Discoveries

JPK reports on research of the Mestroni Lab at the University of Colorado Denver which use the JPK NanoWizard® AFM to help in the characterization of cardiomyopathies April 24th, 2018

Organic solar cells reach record efficiency, benchmark for commercialization April 23rd, 2018

Remote-control shoots laser at nano-gold to turn on cancer-killing immune cells April 20th, 2018

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Announcements

JPK reports on research of the Mestroni Lab at the University of Colorado Denver which use the JPK NanoWizard® AFM to help in the characterization of cardiomyopathies April 24th, 2018

Organic solar cells reach record efficiency, benchmark for commercialization April 23rd, 2018

Remote-control shoots laser at nano-gold to turn on cancer-killing immune cells April 20th, 2018

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Doing the nano-shimmy: New device modulates light and amplifies tiny signals April 12th, 2018

Phononic SEIRA -- enhancing light-molecule interactions via crystal lattice vibrations April 10th, 2018

High-speed and on-silicon-chip graphene blackbody emitters: Integrated light emitters for optical communications April 5th, 2018

Leti Silicon Photonics Design Kit Available in Synopsis OptoDesigner Suite: Kit Contains Design Rules and Building Blocks for Multi-Project Wafers And Custom Runs on Leti’s Si310 Platform April 5th, 2018

Quantum nanoscience

New qubit now works without breaks: A universal design for superconducting qubits has been created April 19th, 2018

Quantum shift shows itself in coupled light and matter: Rice University scientists corral, quantify subtle movement in condensed matter system April 16th, 2018

When superconductivity disappears in the core of a quantum tube: By replacing the electrons with ultra-cold atoms, a group of physicists has created a perfectly clean material, unveiling new states of matter at the quantum level April 16th, 2018

Phononic SEIRA -- enhancing light-molecule interactions via crystal lattice vibrations April 10th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project