Interdisciplinary blog

Zepler Institute EPSRC Summer Bursaries 2014

July 1, 2014
by Joshua Lamb

Joshua Lamb – ‘Suspended Si Nanowire Transistors for Quantum Simulations’

My name is Joshua Lamb and I am currently studying MEng electronic engineering here at the University of Southampton. I have just finished my 3rd year and am moving into my final year, my 3rd year individual project was on the characterisation and modelling of suspended silicon nanowire transistors, I was greatly intrigued by this research field and eager to continue. Nanotechnology has many applications from extending current CMOS technologies to creating new ways to sense and detect nanoscale particles. These devices have a variety of applications such as mass and bio-molecular sensing. As well as this they also have potential applications in quantum computing.

In my research project I will be studying the effects of low temperatures on these suspended silicon nanowire transistors for quantum computing applications. Research indicates that at very low temperatures these nanoscale devices do not behave as expected in their classical sense due to quantum phenomena. It is highly important to understand these quantum phenomena in order to begin creating quantum computing based devices. So far no research has investigated the low temperature effects on these suspended nanowire transistors. Using the equipment available in the ECS cleanrooms I will be able to measure these devices at very low temperatures down to approximately 1.7K. The results obtained from these experiments can then be compared against theoretical background knowledge in order to further enhance our understanding of the devices.

Images showing an example of one of the devices being studied during this project at different magnifications.The first image shows the configuration used for testing with the device in the very centre. The second shows the suspended silicon nanowire and the third shows the core of the nanowire with dimensions, the dark core is the silicon nanowire and the sourrounding lighter area is an oxide layer formed around it.

In parallel with this work I hope to improve on the simulation model I created during my 3rd year project. As the wire is suspended it is free to bend in the middle, the fields created by the gates of the devices could influence the bending of the nanowire. By taking into account these mechanical effects of using a suspended wire the model can be greatly improved.

The research in the project is part of a much larger scheme to create quantum computing technologies. After finishing my masters I am planning on staying on to do PhD, the research done in this project will provide me with great experience in this field so that I can hopefully go on to develop these technologies further.

Categories: Blog. Tags: epsrc, idr, interdisciplinary, interdisciplinary research, joshua lamb, University of Southampton, USRG, vacation bursaries, Yoshishige Tsuchiya, and zepler institute.