Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smallest Quantum Dots Ever Created

Date:
January 28, 2009
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Single atom quantum dots make possible a new level of control over individual electrons, a development that suddenly brings quantum dot-based devices within reach. Composed of a single atom of silicon and measuring less than one nanometer in diameter, these are the smallest quantum dots ever created.

2 coupled atomic quantum dots are shown in this room temperature scanning tunneling microscopy image. In the top frame the dots share one electron. The electron moves freely between the dots just like an electron in a chemical bond within a molecule. The lower frame demonstrates control over that single electron and the potential to do computations in a new way. The electric field from the control charge pushes the electron to prefer staying on only one of the quantum dots.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Alberta/Prof. Robert A. Wolkow

Single atom quantum dots created by researchers at Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology and the University of Alberta make possible a new level of control over individual electrons, a development that suddenly brings quantum dot-based devices within reach.

Composed of a single atom of silicon and measuring less than one nanometre in diameter, these are the smallest quantum dots ever created.

Quantum dots have extraordinary electronic properties, like the ability to bottle-up normally slippery and speedy electrons. This allows controlled interactions among electrons to be put to use to do computations. Until now, quantum dots have been useable only at impractically low temperatures, but the new atom-sized quantum dots perform at room temperature.

Often referred to as artificial atoms, quantum dots have previously ranged in size from 2-10 nanometers in diameter. While typically composed of several thousand atoms, all the atoms pool their electrons to “sing with one voice”, that is, the electrons are shared and coordinated as if there is only one atomic nucleus at the centre. That property enables numerous revolutionary schemes for electronic devices.

Research project leader Robert A. Wolkow described the potential impact saying, “Because they operate at room temperature and exist on the familiar silicon crystals used in today’s computers, we expect these single atom quantum dots will transform theoretical plans into real devices.”

The single atom quantum dots have also demonstrated another advantage – significant control over individual electrons by using very little energy. Wolkow sees this low energy control as the key to quantum dot application in entirely new forms of silicon-based electronic devices, such as ultra low power computers. “The capacity to compose these quantum dots on silicon, the most established electronic material, and to achieve control over electron placement among dots at room temperature puts new kinds of extremely low energy computation devices within reach.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M Baseer Haider, M. Baseer Haider, Jason L Pitters, Gino A. DiLabio, Lucian Livadaru, Josh Y Mutus and Robert A. Wolkow. Controlled Coupling and Occupation of Silicon Atomic Quantum Dots at Room Temperature. Physical Review Letters, January 27, 2009 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.046805

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Smallest Quantum Dots Ever Created." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127170710.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2009, January 28). Smallest Quantum Dots Ever Created. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127170710.htm
University of Alberta. "Smallest Quantum Dots Ever Created." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127170710.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Newsy (July 28, 2014) Stanford University published its findings for a "pure" lithium ion battery that could have our everyday devices and electric cars running longer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins