Quantum Electronics Device Modelling (QUANTDEVMOD)

Partners: University of Glasgow (V. Georgiev)

EPSRC £100K June 2017 to June 2018

Quantum technology gives the opportunity to open novel scientific and technological possibilities beyond the current physical and conceptual limitations. For example, an entirely new generation of electronic devices, which will allow technology to advance in the post-CMOS era, can be created. These devices will be based on quantum properties of electrons, such as tunnelling through barriers and spin, which will aim to progress in a range of applications from communications, quantum computing and quantum standard for electrical current to a wide spectrum of spintronics and molecular electronics. However, achieving this is challenging and requires developing novel theoretical methods and fabrication processes.

This project aims to combine experiments and simulations to develop a suitable theory and methodology for simulating emerging quantum electronic devices. The main object of research in this proposal will be a single electron transistor (SET). In SETs it is possible to control, with very high precision, the electron flow through the device as individual charges. However, there are still numerous scientific and technical challenges to be overcome in order to create reliable and highly accurate SETs.

This proposal aims to address some of these challenges and to answer a simple yet fundamental question: how do electrons flow through aggregates of atoms (quantum dots) in the context of a single electron transistor? The ‘rules’ for quantum transport in molecules and crystals with perfect symmetry are relatively well established and provide direction to the ongoing experimental effort. In contrast, a similar set of underpinning principles for quantum dots related to transport is clearly absent.

A guiding principle in my work, which I follow here, is that theory and calculations should be used in synergy with experiments, addressing fundamental issues and providing insight that leads to improvement of the fabrication processes. This project brings together one UK company, the National Physical Laboratory and two research groups in the University of Glasgow to deliver progress in the field of improving the design parameters and performance of SETs.

Link to the website: https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/P009972/1