SUNY Poly and UB $276K from Air Force to push tech limits

— Photo from SUNY Poly
Serge Oktyabrsky

Professor of nanoscience at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Serge Oktyabrsky, has received $276,000 in funding from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research as part of a collaboration with the University at Buffalo’s SUNY Distinguished Professor Vladimir Mitin.

The joint SUNY Poly/UB team aims, over the three-year life of the grant, to develop principles and technologies enabling the direct manipulation of electronic quantum states within semiconductor ballistic waveguides by external electric field. The overall project will also provide student and internship opportunities.

It is expected that this effort will lead to the novel implementation of quantum mechanics and push the limits of technology, according to a release from SUNY Poly.

For example, the project is to retain unique features and benefits, such as ultra-low voltage switching down to millivolts, or one-thousandth of a volt (as compared to slightly under 1 volt switching in modern state-of-the-art transistors), in addition to allowing for the significant reduction of power dissipation, improved matching with metal interconnects, and the reduction of “noise” in electronic circuits.

The demonstration of these characteristics could help lead to next-generation electronic devices for a number of applications, from high-density, low-power electronics to quantum information processing.   

More specifically, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research grant is based on demonstrating a specially designed nanoscale semiconductor structure enabling electrons to travel as one-dimensional waves.

High-efficiency gate electrodes control the electron wave propagation in “Y-shaped” branching waveguides, which help direct the electrons to a desired location and enable the desired electronic device characteristics. This device operation is conceptually different from transistors, the building blocks of computer chips, and it could potentially eliminate fundamental constraints that currently limit performance of microwave and fast digital components.

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