‘Top-down’, ‘bottom-up’ nanoscience – single dopants in semiconductors

Fundamental research is core to the scope of JPCM, but the articles we publish can impact on more applied and technological areas of physics. None show this better that our recently published special issue on “Single dopants in semiconductors”, guest edited by Steven R Schofield, University College London and Sven Rogge, University of New South Wales.

3D sketch of an coupled atom transistor structure.

3D sketch of a coupled atom transistor. (a) Lateral view after gate etching. Crystalline silicon in light pink, SiO2 in brown, polysilicon gate in dark pink.

The addition of a dopant to a semiconductor allows control over many attributes of the host material, including the optical, electronic and magnetic properties. This control is central to the fabrication of electronic devices.

Recent advances mean that it is now possible to control the introduction of a dopant with sub-10nm precision. Further development is always necessary though, in both experimental techniques for fabrication and refinement of these structures, and in the theoretical tools used for modelling.

In their preface, Schofield and Rogge discuss the wide range of approaches the special issue features.

This special edition showcases recent developments in the study of single dopants in semiconductors. As might be expected in a field that inherently sits at the confluence of ‘top–down’ and ‘bottom–up’ nanoscience approaches, the papers cover a range of experimental techniques, including scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS), single-ion ion implantation, charge transport spectroscopy, and electrical spin readout. There are also theoretical investigations utilising atomistic tight binding and central cell corrected effective mass theory.

The issue highlights both the science and the engineering of atomic-scale structures and the importance of this research to wider semiconductor device applications. Echoing the Guest Editors in their preface, the journal would like to thank the contributors of this issue and also Schofield and Rogge for their time and dedication in creating the issue. We hope you enjoy it.

If you would like to find out more about single dopants in semiconductors, the full issue is available now.

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Front page thumbnail adapted from Figure 7 taken from 2015 J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 27 154206. Copyright IOP Publishing 2015.

Image taken from 2015 J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 27 154206. Copyright IOP Publishing 2015.

Categories: Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter

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