Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

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

Tough foam from tiny sheets: Rice University lab uses atom-thick materials to make ultralight foam July 29th, 2014

Zenosense, Inc. July 29th, 2014

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

Chip Technology

A*STAR and industry form S$200M semiconductor R&D July 25th, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Optical Computing

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

New NIST metamaterial gives light a one-way ticket July 2nd, 2014

Don't blink! NIST studies why quantum dots suffer from 'fluorescence intermittency' May 22nd, 2014

Nanosheets and nanowires April 1st, 2014

Discoveries

Tough foam from tiny sheets: Rice University lab uses atom-thick materials to make ultralight foam July 29th, 2014

Zenosense, Inc. July 29th, 2014

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

Announcements

Tough foam from tiny sheets: Rice University lab uses atom-thick materials to make ultralight foam July 29th, 2014

Zenosense, Inc. July 29th, 2014

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

A new way to make microstructured surfaces: Method can produce strong, lightweight materials with specific surface properties July 29th, 2014

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity July 19th, 2014

Future Electronics May Depend on Lasers, Not Quartz July 17th, 2014

Quantum nanoscience

Measuring the Smallest Magnets July 28th, 2014

Physicists Use Computer Models to Reveal Quantum Effects in Biological Oxygen Transport: The team solved a long-standing question by explaining why oxygen – and not deadly carbon monoxide – preferably binds to the proteins that transport it around the body. July 17th, 2014

Bending the rules: A UCSB postdoctoral scholar in physics discovers a counterintuitive phenomenon: the coexistence of superconductivity with dissipation June 29th, 2014

Singapore Researchers Use FEI Titan S/TEM to Link Plasmonics with Molecular Electronics: As described in the March 28 issue of Science, researchers discover quantum plasmonic tunneling – a phenomenon that may eventually lead to new, ultra-fast electrical circuits June 24th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE