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SINGLE ELECTRON TRANSISTOR

K.Pooja Naga Sai (poojanagasai@gmail.com) II/IV B.Tech, ECE KL University

B.Sirisha (badamsirisha.siri@gmail.com) II/IV B.Tech, ECE KL University

ABSTRACT
Our world is without doubt built on the power of the transistor, a microscopic electronic switch used to perform digital logic. In order to keep up with this incredible rate of speed increase, transistors are becoming smaller and smaller, to the point where in the very near future, they will begin to not only feel the effects of quantum mechanics on their operation, but will have to take quantum mechanics into account as the dominant force in their engineering. Most transistors today are MOSFETs, where a semiconductor source and drain of one doping type are separated by an oppositely doped bulk semiconductor. The bulk semiconductor is then separated by a layer of oxide from a gate electrode between the source and the drain. As the gate bias is changed, the bias causes the formation of a conducting channel in the bulk material between the source and drain, allowing current to flow and thus turning the switch on. In a single electron transistor, however, charge moves by utilizing the effect of quantum tunneling. Instead of creating a channel of charge carriers between the source and drain electrodes, a single electron transistor utilizes two junctions where tunneling is the dominant method of electron transport to control the movement of single electrons through the device. The goal of this paper is to review in brief the basic physics of nanoelectronic device single-electron transistor [SET] as well as prospective applications and problems in their applications. SET functioning based on the controllable transfer of single electrons between small conducting "islands".

Keywords:
Nanoelectronics; Single-electron transistor; Coulomb blockade, Coulomb oscillation, Quantum dot

1.INTRODUCTION
A conventional eld-effect transistor, the kind that makes all modern electronics work, is a switch that turns on when electrons are added to a semiconductor and turns off when they are removed. These on and off states give the ones and zeros that digital computers need for calculation. One then has a transistor that turns on and off again every time one electron is added to it; we call it a single electron transistor (SET). Furthermore, the behavior of the device is entirely quantum mechanical. Electron transport properties of individual molecules have received considerable attention over the last several years due to the introduction of singleelectron transistor (SET) devices which allow the experimenter to probe electronic, vibrational or magnetic excitations in an individual molecule. In a three-terminal molecular SET the molecule is situated between the source and drain leads with an insulated gate electrode underneath. Current can flow between the source and drain leads via a sequential tunneling process through the molecular charge levels, which the gate electrode is used to tune. 2.HISTORY OF SET The effects of charge quantization were rst observed in tunnel junctions containing metal particles as early as 1968. Later, the idea that the Coulomb

blockade can be overcome with a gate electrode was proposed by a number of authors, and Kulik and Shekhter developed the theory of Coulomb-blockade oscillations, the periodic variation of conductance as a function of gate voltage. Their theory was classical, including charge quantization but not energy quantization. However, it was not until 1987 that Fulton and Dolan made the rst SET, entirely out of metals , and observed the predicted oscillations. They made a metal particle connected to two metal leads by tunnel junctions, all on top of an insulator with a gate electrode underneath. Since then, the capacitances of such metal SETs have been reduced to produce very precise charge quantization .The rst semiconductor SET was fabricated accidentally in 1989 by Scott-Thomasetal. In narrow Si eld effect transistors. In this case the tunnel barriers were produced by interface charges.

3. SET SCHEMATIC REPRESENTATION A model of SET is shown in Fig.1,(b) is the simplified model.

Figure(1) A schematic circuit of SET The two areas filled with patched pattern are tunneling junctions; there are some discrete Coulomb islands between them. R1, C1 and R2, C2 are the resistance and capacitance of the junctions. The junctions form the source and drain of the transistor, 2 / V voltages are applied to them through conductive wires, the tunneling current pass through the islands is I. A layer of insulating media separates the islands from the gate; the capacitance between them is Cg. A voltage of Vg is applied on the gate and controls the open or close of the SET. Because of its unique structure, SET has many prospective characteristics such as low power consumption, high sensitivity, high switching speed, high packet density, etc. So much attention has been attracted on their fabrication and industrial realization.

Basically the fabrication methods can be divided as physical or chemical techniques according to the main procedures. The physical methods often utilize the combination of thin film and lithographic technologies. Devices with carefully tailored geometries and electron density are got. For example, quantum dots or quasizero-dimensional puddles of electrons with weak coupling to simultaneously patterned electrical leads are fabricated to form a SET. However, lithographic and materials limitations restrict the minimum size and composition of such dots (100nm), and studies are typically limited to sub-Kelvin temperatures. Another approach is to grow nanostructures chemically. This approach is prosperous for its low cost and good controllability of the size of Coulomb islands, and it is possible to be a prospective technique. Though this technique is not mature industrially, the SET s fabricated in laboratories show fascinating results. Generally there are three most important steps: first, the fabrication of Coulomb islands as well as the control of their size and dispersity; second, the formation of tunneling junctions at the joint of electrodes and Coulomb island; third, the formation of gate between substrate and Coulomb islands. 4. WORKING OF SET The single electron transistor is a new type of switching device that uses controlled electron tunneling to amplify current. Conduction through a molecular SET only occurs when a molecular electronic level lies between the Fermi energies of the leads. A bias voltage, V bias,

Fig (2) Schematic diagram of SET

5. FABRICATION OF SET The fabrication of SET promotes many difficulties. For SET to be used in a large scale industrially and position.

applied between the source and the drain, changes the electrostatic potential of one of the leads by an energy |eV|. For small bias voltages, |eV| < Ec + E where Ec is the Coulomb charging energy and E is the energy difference between consecutive charge states of the molecule being measured, current cannot flow though the device because the excited molecular levels are not available to conduct charges between the electrodes. This is known as the Coulomb blockade regime.

EC=e2/2C where C is the capacitance of this system. This Ec is called Coulomb blockade energy, which is the repelling energy of the previous electron to the next electron. For a tiny system, the capacitance C is very small, thus Ec can be very high, and the electrons cannot move simultaneously, but must pass through one by one. This phenomenon is called "Coulomb blockade". If two quantum dots(QD) are joined at a point and form a channel, it is possible for an electron to pass from one dot over the energy barrier and move to the other dot, this is called "tunneling phenomenon". In order to overcome the barrier (Ec), the applied voltage on the quantum dots (V/2) should be V > e/C Quantum tunnelling It refers to the quantum mechanical phenomenon where a particle tunnels through a barrier that it classically could not surmount because its total mechanical energy is lower than the potential energy of the barrier. This tunnelling plays an essential role in several physical phenomena, including radioactive decay and has important applications to modern devices such as the tunneling diode and the scanning tunnelling microscope. COULOMB ISLAND (a)When a capacitor is charged through a resistor, the charge on the capacitor is proportional to the applied voltage and shows no sign of quantization.

Fig (3) Schematic of a single electron transistor If bias voltages, |eV| > Ec + E where Ec is the Coulomb charging energy and E is the energy difference between consecutive charge states of the molecule being measured, current can flow though the device. Usually electrons move continuously in the common transistors, but as the size of the system goes down to nanoscale (for example, the size of metal atoms can be several nm, and the size of semi-conductive particles can be several tens nm), the energy of the system is quantumized, that is, the process of charging and discharging is discontinuous. The energy for one electron to move into the system is:

(b) When a tunnel junction replaces the resistor, a conducting island is formed between the junction and the capacitor plate. In this case the average charge on the island increases in steps as the voltage is increased. c) The steps are sharper for more resistive barriers and at lower temperatures. A signature of this phenomenon is commonly seen at low temperatures as an absence of current for low bias voltages. As the bias voltage across the device increases, excited states will provide conduction channels in the device. As a result, discrete changes in the current through the SET will be obtained every time a new molecular level falls within the bias window. The simplest device in which the effect of Coulomb blockade can be observed is the so-called single electron transistor. It consists of two tunnel junctions sharing one common electrode with a low selfcapacitance, known as the island. The electrical potential of the island can be tuned by a third electrode (the gate), capacitively coupled to the island. In the blocking state no accessible energy levels are within tunneling range of the electron (red) on the source contact. All

energy levels on the island electrode with lower energies are occupied. When a positive voltage is applied to the gate electrode the energy levels of the island electrode are lowered. The electron (green 1.) can tunnel onto the island (2.), occupying a previously vacant energy level. From there it can tunnel onto the drain electrode (3.) where it in elastically scatters and reaches the drain electrode Fermi level (4.). The energy levels of the island electrode are evenly spaced with a separation of E. E is the energy needed to each subsequent electron to the island, which acts as a selfcapacitance C. The lower C the bigger E gets. To achieve the Coulomb blockade, three criteria have to be met: The bias voltage can't exceed the charging energy divided by the capacitance Vbias = ;The thermal energy kBT must be below the charging energy EC = , or else the electron will be able to pass the QB via thermal excitation; The bias voltage can't exceed the charging energy divided by the capacitance Vbias = ;

The thermal energy kBT must be below the charging energy EC = , or else the electron will be able to pass the QB via thermal excitation. 5.APPLICATIONS

SET has found many applications in many areas They are used in single electron memory, high sensitivity electrometer, detection, logic circuits design etc. microwave

an logic state. It works on the notation of Coulomb Blockade oscillations, but operates at a much faster current-driving capability. REFERENCES: Stevenson T. R, Pellerano F.A, Stahle C.M, Aidala K, Schoelkopf R.J. 2002, Applied Physics Letters, 80, 16. Bladh K, Gunnarsson D, Johansson G, Kck A, wendin G, Delsing P, Aassime A, Taslakov M. Reading out Charge Qubits with a Radio Frequency Single Electron Transistor, 2002. Berman D, Zhitenev N. B, Ashoori R.C, Smith H, Melloch M, 1997, American Vacuum Society, 2844. http://homepages.cae.wisc.edu/~wisc engr/feb05/transitioningelecfrontiers. shtml

Advantages include small size, low energy consumption and high sensitivity, highcurrent density, good controllability, a well defined tunnel barrier. The main disadvantages are Integration of SETs in a large scale is difficult, to use SETs at room temperature, large quantities of monodispersed Nan particles less than 10nm in diameter must be synthesized. it is very hard to fabricate large quantities of SETs by traditional optical lithography and semiconducting process. Linking SETs with the outside environment Practical difficulty in fabrication. 6.CONCLUSION single-electron transistor which could lead to the development of "quantum" computers with supercomputer powers and the size of a thumbtack. SETMOS: Using a Hybrid combination, similar to that of SET and FET, of SETs and CMOS transistors in SETMOS devices can provide enough gain and current drive to perform logic functions on a much smaller scale than possible with just an CMOS. The SETMOS device exhibits Coulomb blockade oscillations similar to a traditional SET but offers much higher current-driving capability. Similar to a CMOS this SETMOS uses a single electron to represent