Date  Dec. 7, 2007 
Speaker  Mark Ruder (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 
Topic  Solid State Physics at the
Nanoscale: The Demise of Moore's Law and the Rise of Quantum Electronics 
Abstract:  Over the past 50 years, the
continual miniaturization of semiconducting
structures comprising electronic circuits resulted in
a rapid increase of computational power with very few
fundamental changes in component design. However, we
are quickly reaching a limit where the current
production designs of transistors and logic gates
will no longer be able to scale down to smaller sizes
without serious changes in performance due to quantum
effects such as tunneling and interference. To
facilitate the further development of information
processing technologies, we must now find new ways of
storing and manipulating information in "mesoscopic
systems," where both classical and quantum mechanical
behaviors can arise.
In the first part of this talk I will introduce the basic physics of the Field Effect Transistor (FET) and describe the onset of quantum effects as such devices are miniaturized down to the mesoscale. Although such quantum effects are considered to be a nuisance to CMOS chip designers, many useful solidstate devices based on quantum mechanical principles can now be fabricated and studied. To illustrate this point, in the second part of this talk I will describe the interesting coupled dynamics of electron and nuclear spins that arises due to DC transport through quantum dots in the socalled spin blockade regime.
