Quantum materials-based prototypes that move beyond von Neumann computing

Quantum materials will be incorporated into novel computational technologies to benchmark their performance relative to conventional technology. These will include topological and spin analogues of the field effect transistor (FET), neuromorphic elements, and non-classical light sources through integration with nanophotonic substrates.

Quantum Engineering with Crumple Structures (Pilgyu Kang)

Pilgyu Kang and Patrick Vora aim to investigate spintronics via strain engineering of atomically thin two dimensional (2D) materials, such as with MoTe2 and MoTe2-WTe2 alloys. Spintronic logic devices have enormous potential in applications of optical quantum computing, specifically for logical operation and information processing with ultralow low power consumption. To explore such spintronic-logic device with, our QMC research team designs and fabricates spin field effect transistors (spin-FETs) based on crumpled MoTe2-WTe2 alloys. To develop the spin-FET devices, we fabricate crumple-nanostructures in atomic layers of MoTe2-WTe2 alloys using our unique shrink manufacturing technique. We design and fabricate a spin-FET device based on crumpled atomically thin films of MoTe2-WTe2 alloys with various gate design and device geometries. Those tasks will allow for our exploration to achieve efficient control of spin-polarized electron current. Furthermore, our team will use spin-FET devices for enhancement of photoelectric effect to advance the technology of near-infrared photodetection with high sensitivity. Pilgyu will use the approach strain-engineering to modulate and enhance electronic, optical, and mechanical properties of atomically thin films with mechanical strains. We believe that our achievements will have an impact on many strain-controlled electronics applications and will open an entirely new frontier of device engineering to the fields of spintronics and 2D materials.

Topological Device Engineering (Qiliang Li and Dimitris Ioannou)

   > Simulation, Design and Fabrication of Topological Insulator Field Effect Transistors

This project is to simulate, design, and fabricate topological insulator (TI) field effect transistors (FETs) with excellent performance, and use them as a platform to explore and exploit the gate-controlled topological surface state (TSS) for applications in spin-based devices and, in new-concept logic, nonvolatile memory and sensing devices. The specific step-by-step aims of this proposal are: (i) to design and fabricate topological insulator FETs with large on-state current and near-zero off-state current; (ii) to explore gate design and device geometry for achieving robust and efficient control of the spin-polarized electron current (on/off ratio > 105); (iii) to exploit the spin-polarized electron current for spin-based logic and nonvolatile memory devices with low-power operation; and (iv) to exploit TI FETs for enhancing the TI photoelectronic effect for infrared sensors with high sensitivity and selectivity. The proposed device structures are shown in the Figure here.

   > High-Performance Molecular Flash Memory

The computer memory has two major categories: on-chip memory and data storage memory based on their applications. In this proposal, we will focus on the new memory devices for on-chip application because increasing the size of CPU memory will directly increase the information throughput for computing. In this project, we will study the unique properties of molecules, nanowires, and 2D semiconductors, and the integration of these active quantum materials. This project will be completed through a collaborative effort in the QMC. The research in this project involves modeling the interface between the redox-active molecules and low-dimensional materials, fabrication of memory devices, and characterization of the materials and interfaces. Redox-active organic molecules are planted in a semiconductor platform to build new-concept high-performance non-volatile memory — molecular flash memory.

   > Design and Fabrication of Logic Devices Based on 2D Materials

In this project, we will (i) investigate new surface preparation, termination, and passivation methods that will enable the atomic layer deposition of dielectrics on 2D atomic crystals; (ii) study systematically the interface between metal, dielectric materials on 2D materials; and (iii) leverage the acquired knowledge to design, fabricate, and fully characterize high-performance 2D field effect transistors for logic applications

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