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Quantum devices for advanced nano-electronic technology

Objective

The objective of the QUADRANT project is the development of a technology for the implementation of logic circuits based on a Quantum Cellular Automata (QCA) architecture. A co-ordinated theoretical and experimental effort will be undertaken for the design and fabrication of QCA cells characterised by two possible polarisation states. Coupling between such cells and propagation of the polarisation along chains of cells will also be investigated, with the aim of demonstrating their functionality as building blocks for logic circuits.

The cellular automata concept is very promising for possible circuit applications of quantum devices, because it overcomes some of their intrinsic problems, such as the very limited available fan-out and the inability of efficiently driving interconnect lines. Other problems do, however, exist, such as that of achieving a bistable behaviour with a number of electrons per cell larger than two or of reliably interfacing the cellular automata system with the outer world and, in particular, with traditional electronics without perturbing its operation. We plan to address these issues through the development of improved cell designs and the realisation of probes capable of detecting the polarisation state of a cell without significantly affecting it.

The relative advantages of different semiconductor material systems will be explored, pushing the total dimensions of each cell down to a few tens of nanometers in order to raise the operating temperature and decrease the sensitivity to external interferences, issues of paramount importance for any future industrial application. Thus, during the first phase of the project, one of the main objectives will consist in the development of an improved technology for the fabrication of quantum dots with the smallest possible number of electrons. It will therefore be possible to investigate experimentally the operation of the cell topologies that up to now have been discussed in the literature only from a theoretical point of view. As a consequence of the strong interaction between theoretical and experimental groups, it will be possible to tune models so that they will be able to quantitatively and reliably predict the behaviour of a single cell and of arrays of cells. Such models will be implemented into simulation packages that will allow the design of optimised devices. Close co-ordination and exchange of information with the group at Notre Dame University that first proposed the cellular automata concept will further increase the effectiveness of the project.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Dipartimento diIngegneria Della Informazione
Address
Via Diotisalvi 2
56126 Pisa
Italy

Participants (7)

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Delegation Ile de France Ouest et Nord
France
Address
Place Aristide Briand 1
92195 Meudon
Eberhard-Karls-Universitaet Tuebingen
Germany
Address
Sand 13
72076 Tuebingen
Mcmaster University
Canada
Address
Main Street West 1280
L8S 4M1 Hamilton
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
Address
Trinity Lane, The Old Schools,
CB2 1TN Cambridge
The University of Notre Dame Du Lac
United States
Address
Fitzpatrick Hall 275
IN 46556 Notre Dame
Univ.Barcelona- Fund.Bosch Gimpera
Spain
Address
Ppa, Balmes 21
08007 Barcelona
University of Linkoeping
Sweden
Address
Valla
58183 Linkoeping