Controlled Coupling of Silicon Atomic Quantum Dots at Room Temperature: a Basis for Atomic Electronics?Export this event to calendar

Thursday, February 16, 2012 — 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM EST

Physics colloquium

Speaker: 
Robert Wolkow
Speaker's Institute: 
University of Alberta

Quantum dots are small entities, typically consisting of just a few thousands atoms, that in some ways act like a single atom. The constituent atoms in a dot coalesce their electronic properties to exhibit fairly simple and potentially very useful properties. It turns out that collectives of dots exhibit joint electronic properties of yet more interest. Unfortunately, though extremely small, the finite size of typical quantum dots puts a limit on how close multiple dots can be placed, and that in turn limits how strong the coupling between dots can be. Because inter-dot coupling is weak, properties of interest are only manifest at very low temperatures (milliKelvin). In this work the ultimate small quantum dot is described – we replace an “artificial atom” with a true atom - with great benefit.

It is demonstrated that the zero-dimensional character of the silicon atom dangling bond (DB) state allows controlled formation and occupation of a new form of quantum dot assemblies - at room temperature. Coulomb repulsion causes DBs separated by less than ~2 nm to experience reduced localized charge. The unoccupied states so created allow a previously unobserved electron tunnel-coupling of DBs, evidenced by a pronounced change in the time-averaged view recorded by scanning tunneling microscopy. It is shown that fabrication geometry determines net electron occupation and tunnel-coupling strength within multi-DB ensembles and moreover that electrostatic separation of degenerate states allows controlled electron occupation within an ensemble.

Some speculation on the viability of a new “atomic electronics” based upon these results will be offered.

A few words about single atom tips that are exquisite electron and ion sources will be offered too.

Controlled Coupling and Occupation of Silicon Atomic Quantum Dots at Room Temperature
M Baseer Haider, M. Baseer Haider, Jason L Pitters, Gino A. DiLabio, Lucian Livadaru, Josh Y Mutus and Robert A. Wolkow, Physical Review Letters 102, 046805, 2009

Charge Control of Surface Dangling Bonds Using Nanoscale Schottky Contacts
Pitters Jason L.; Dogel Iana A.; Wolkow Robert A., ACS NANO, 5, 1984-1989 (2011)

Tunnel coupled dangling bond structures on hydrogen terminated silicon surfaces
Pitters JL, Livadaru L, Haider MB and Wolkow RA, J.Chem.Phys., 134, 064712-18 (2011)

Dangling-bond charge qubit on a silicon surface
Lucian Livadaru , Peng Xue , Zahra Shaterzadeh-Yazdi , Gino A DiLabio , Josh Mutus , Jason L Pitters , Barry C Sanders and Robert A Wolkow, New J. Phys. 12 083018-32 (2010)

Low-energy electron point projection microscopy of suspended graphene, the ultimate 'microscope slide'
Mutus J. Y.; Livadaru L.; Robinson J. T., New J. Phys. 13, 063011+11 (2011)

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