The IHT and Quantum Electronics
The constant miniaturization of micro- and nanoelectronic devices leads to the problem that critical device dimensions fall into the sub-10 nm range. This leads to quantum mechanical effects such as the quantum mechanical tunneling of charge carriers through the gate dielectric of MOS gate controlled devices, which can superimpose or even destroy the classical behavior of these devices. IHT's research goal in quantum electronics is to specifically exploit quantum mechanical effects and functionalize them in new device concepts. Examples are the tunnel field effect transistor (TFET), i.e. a MOS gate controlled Esaki tunnel contact, and the spin FET.
What other quantum electronic effects besides the "tunnel effect" are being investigated at the IHT?
In addition to research on tunnel-effect-based components and quantum mechanical effects in low-dimensional structures such as quantum dots, the IHT also conducts research on spintronic components. The aim of spintronics is to exploit not only the electron charge but also another property of the electron, its spin (intrinsic angular momentum), in devices. The IHT is working on spin injection in SiGe heterostructures and on spin transport in electron channels with high charge carrier mobility with the aim of realizing a prototypical spin FET that is potentially superior to the field effect transistor in terms of energy efficiency. In this context, IHT research is currently concentrating on the fabrication, characterization and functionalization of CMOS-compatible ferromagnetic material systems based on our Group IV Heteroepitaxy.