Atomic-Scale Devices in Silicon by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

  • J. A. Miwa
  • M. Y. SimmonsEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Atom and Single Molecule Machines book series (AASMM)


The ability to control matter at the atomic scale and build devices with atomic precision is one of the core challenges of nanotechnology. In this chapter, we outline a complete fabrication strategy for building atomic-scale devices in silicon with atomic precision in all three-dimensions. Using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)-based lithography we have imaged and placed phosphorus dopant atoms in precise locations on a silicon surface before encapsulating them with silicon using low temperature molecular beam epitaxy to activate the dopants. Etched registration markers allow us to locate and align external electrical contacts to the buried STM-patterned dopant atoms so that we can perform electron transport measurements outside the microscope at cryogenic temperatures. Using this unique strategy we discuss the realization of conducting nanoscale wires, tunnel junctions and all epitaxial single electron transistors. Finally we provide an outlook to achieving truly single atom device architectures toward our ultimate goal of realizing a silicon-based quantum computer.


Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Image Epitaxial Silicon Energy Level Spacing Phosphorus Dopant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (Project No. CE110001027) and the Army Research Office under contract number W911NF-08-1-0527. M. Y. S acknowledges a Federation Fellowship. J. A. M. thanks S. Mahapatra, G. Scappucci and M. Fuechsle for many useful discussions.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication TechnologyUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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