Anderson-Mott transition in arrays of a few dopant atoms in a silicon transistor.
ABSTRACT Dopant atoms are used to control the properties of semiconductors in most electronic devices. Recent advances such as single-ion implantation have allowed the precise positioning of single dopants in semiconductors as well as the fabrication of single-atom transistors, representing steps forward in the realization of quantum circuits. However, the interactions between dopant atoms have only been studied in systems containing large numbers of dopants, so it has not been possible to explore fundamental phenomena such as the Anderson-Mott transition between conduction by sequential tunnelling through isolated dopant atoms, and conduction through thermally activated impurity Hubbard bands. Here, we observe the Anderson-Mott transition at low temperatures in silicon transistors containing arrays of two, four or six arsenic dopant atoms that have been deterministically implanted along the channel of the device. The transition is induced by controlling the spacing between dopant atoms. Furthermore, at the critical density between tunnelling and band transport regimes, we are able to change the phase of the electron system from a frozen Wigner-like phase to a Fermi glass by increasing the temperature. Our results open up new approaches for the investigation of coherent transport, band engineering and strongly correlated systems in condensed-matter physics.
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Article: A single-atom transistor.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The ability to control matter at the atomic scale and build devices with atomic precision is central to nanotechnology. The scanning tunnelling microscope can manipulate individual atoms and molecules on surfaces, but the manipulation of silicon to make atomic-scale logic circuits has been hampered by the covalent nature of its bonds. Resist-based strategies have allowed the formation of atomic-scale structures on silicon surfaces, but the fabrication of working devices-such as transistors with extremely short gate lengths, spin-based quantum computers and solitary dopant optoelectronic devices-requires the ability to position individual atoms in a silicon crystal with atomic precision. Here, we use a combination of scanning tunnelling microscopy and hydrogen-resist lithography to demonstrate a single-atom transistor in which an individual phosphorus dopant atom has been deterministically placed within an epitaxial silicon device architecture with a spatial accuracy of one lattice site. The transistor operates at liquid helium temperatures, and millikelvin electron transport measurements confirm the presence of discrete quantum levels in the energy spectrum of the phosphorus atom. We find a charging energy that is close to the bulk value, previously only observed by optical spectroscopy.Nature Nanotechnology 02/2012; 7(4):242-6. · 31.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report on spectroscopy of a single dopant atom in silicon by resonant tunneling between source and drain of a gated nanowire etched from silicon on insulator. The electronic states of this dopant isolated in the channel appear as resonances in the low temperature conductance at energies below the conduction band edge. We observe the two possible charge states successively occupied by spin-up and spin-down electrons under magnetic field. The first resonance is consistent with the binding energy of the neutral D0 state of an arsenic donor. The second resonance shows a reduced charging energy due to the electrostatic coupling of the charged D- state with electrodes. Excited states and Zeeman splitting under magnetic field present large energies potentially useful to build atomic scale devices.Physical Review Letters 12/2006; 97(20):206805. · 7.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: One consequence of the continued downward scaling of transistors is the reliance on only a few discrete atoms to dope the channel, and random fluctuations in the number of these dopants are already a major issue in the microelectronics industry. Although single dopant signatures have been observed at low temperatures, the impact on transistor performance of a single dopant atom at room temperature is not well understood. Here, we show that a single arsenic dopant atom dramatically affects the off-state room-temperature behaviour of a short-channel field-effect transistor fabricated with standard microelectronics processes. The ionization energy of the dopant is measured to be much larger than it is in bulk, due to its proximity to the buried oxide, and this explains the large current below threshold and large variability in ultra-scaled transistors. The results also suggest a path to incorporating quantum functionalities into silicon CMOS devices through manipulation of single donor orbitals.Nature Nanotechnology 12/2009; 5(2):133-7. · 31.17 Impact Factor