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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M008975/1
Title: Manufacturing Quantum Nano-LEGO Blocks for Electronics, Photonics, and Phononics Integrated Systems
Principal Investigator: Saito, Dr S
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Hitachi Ltd Japan Adv Inst of Sci & Tech (JAIST) National Physical Laboratory
University of Tokyo
Department: Sch of Electronics and Computer Sci
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 April 2015 Ends: 31 March 2020 Value (£): 1,095,170
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Nov 2014 Manufacturing Fellowships Interview Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
As the minimum feature size of the Si transistor is shrinking down, various quantum mechanical effects are observed even at room temperature operations. This includes the quantum tunnelling leakage currents and the capacitance decrease by quantum confinements. All of these effects, unfortunately, degrade the performance of transistors, and the reason is partially coming from the design principle of conventional transistors based on classical mechanics. New paradigm shift is expected to achieve the transition from classical to quantum technologies for innovations in high performance computing, secure communication, simulation, sensor, and metrology.

However, many manufacturing challenges must be overcome to integrate quantum structures for real industrial applications, since quantum states are extremely sensitive to environmental disturbances. We must minimize the line-edge-roughness, thickness-non-uniformities, random dopant fluctuations, and interfacial defects.

In this fellowship, a novel manufacturing process technology will be developed to fabricate various quantum structures, named Nano-LEGO Blocks, including quantum wells, nano-wires, quantum dots, pillars, and fins. These nano-structural building blocks will be fabricated by a combination of the state-of-the-art Si nanofabrication processes and the self-limiting wet etching. The nano-structures are defined by the crystallographic orientation with the atomically flat interface, and the quantum nature of the structures will be examined.

By properly designing the process steps and the 3D device layouts, we can economically assemble these building blocks in large quantities with wafer scale in highly reliable, low-cost, and high-yield processes. We are also planning to introduce the manipulation probes in the chamber of our He-Ion-Microscope to manipulate the building blocks to construct the 3D structures by using the electrostatic force. The concept is based on the natural extension of LEGO Blocks to the nano-meter scale, i.e., starting from the several kinds of well-defined building blocks we can construct sophisticated technological arts by the arbitrary combinations of the blocks.

As applications of this manufacturing technology, we will fabricate 3 devices:

(1) Si/Ge Based Single Photon Source,

(2) Si Single-Electron-Pump for quantum-metrology,

(3) Si on-chip heat sink for energy harvesting.

While our main purpose is to establish the comprehensive process technologies using nano-structural building blocks, we will find out real process issues and solutions in the actual device fabrications for identifying true industrial needs. The combinations of these building blocks will enable realization of new functionalities using the quantum nature of properties for various electronics, photonics, and phononics integrated system applications. The applications are not limited to quantum devices, and we will demonstrate on-chip heat sinks and low-loss Si photonic waveguide, which can immediately contribute to the energy saving in a big data centre for cloud computing.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk