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Nanotechnology Computer Aided Design

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The giant growth of nanotechnology

Nanotehnology is an emerging area of electronics, which is currently experiencing an explosion of interest. It essentially concerns engineering and manufacturing at the molecular or nanometer length scale.

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The development of novel devices at the nanometer scale fosters interactions among physical, mathematical, chemical, biological and engineering disciplines. The application of these disciplines to the novel phenomena and processes, which arise at the nanoscale level, provide amazing opportunities for scientific and technological developments in nanostructures. However, despite the enthusiasm that the new nanotechnology prospect harbours, difficulties and limitations are not absent. The synthesis and fabrication of nanoparticles, the material characteristics and defects and the parasitic phenomena produced, are but a few of these. In this direction, physical, mathematical, chemical and biological modelling and simulation techniques are being developed with the aim to predict, anticipate and solve these problems. The Nanotechnology Computer Aided Design (NANOTCAD) project is an integrated theoretical and experimental project aimed at developing and validating simulation software tools and the respective incident fabrication and optimisation of semiconductor and molecular nanodevices. Consistent with its objectives, NANOTCAD led to a set of software tools, freely distributed to the European nanotechnology community through the Phantoms Simulation Hub ( Among those tools a solver for the Poisson-Schrödinger equation in semiconductor nanostructures in one-, two-, and three-dimensional domains (NANOTCAD1D, NANOTCAD2D, NANOTCAD3D, respectively) is included. Furthermore, comprehensive manuals have been prepared, for all tools and for non-expert users, available for download on the project site ( and on the PHANTOMS hub. The NANOTCAD codes are mainly tools for research and prototyping, which have already been used for the simulation and fabrication of several nanoelectronic devices, constituting a valuable design aid. What it is more, in the context of the NANOTCAD project a series of collaborations have been established with experimental groups and research projects, promoting synergy, interchange of information and data and expanding the nanotechnology community.

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