ARE QUANTUM SEMICONDUCTOR-DEVICES DELIVERING

Authors
Citation
Mj. Kelly, ARE QUANTUM SEMICONDUCTOR-DEVICES DELIVERING, Materials science & engineering. B, Solid-state materials for advanced technology, 35(1-3), 1995, pp. 1-6
Citations number
40
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Material Science","Physics, Condensed Matter
ISSN journal
0921-5107
Volume
35
Issue
1-3
Year of publication
1995
Pages
1 - 6
Database
ISI
SICI code
0921-5107(1995)35:1-3<1:AQSD>2.0.ZU;2-9
Abstract
As we are now half-way through the 1990s, it is timely to review the p resent semiconductor device scene and to establish the extent to which quantum effects, and especially the physics of low dimensional semico nductor structures established in the 1970s and 1980s, determine super ior device performance. The following are examined: (i) various transi stors as switches, amplifiers and oscillators, (ii) microwave diodes a s sources and detectors: (iii) optical devices (sources, modulators an d detectors), IR detectors and solar cells, and (iv) metrological devi ces as applications of low dimensional structures. The physics of hete rojunctions, often on a 10 nm length scale, has been introduced into n early every semiconductor device, and there have been some significant improvements to device performance in such primary figures of merit a s efficiency, speed, noise etc. The secondary features, such as temper ature stability, robustness, ease of manufacture, reliability,..., hav e all been improved. Heterojunction physics, often including its speci fically quantum aspects, is now ubiquitous in semiconductor device ope ration. Wherever the trend is towards higher speed, efficiency or sens itivity in device operation, quantum effects are playing an increasing ly important role. Those hoping for commercial devices with a radicall y new and intrinsically quantum mechanism for operation are largely di sappointed. The new physics associated with one-dimensional and zero-d imensional structures, quantum interference, ballistic motion or Coulo mb blockade is unlikely to lead to practical devices until these effec ts can be exhibited, if ever they can, as robust phenomena at 77 K if not at room temperature.