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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Paul L Bergstrom


The single electron transistor (SET) is a charge-based device that may complement the dominant metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) technology. As the cost of scaling MOSFET to smaller dimensions are rising and the the basic functionality of MOSFET is encountering numerous challenges at dimensions smaller than 10nm, the SET has shown the potential to become the next generation device which operates based on the tunneling of electrons. Since the electron transfer mechanism of a SET device is based on the non-dissipative electron tunneling effect, the power consumption of a SET device is extremely low, estimated to be on the order of 10^-18J.

The objectives of this research are to demonstrate technologies that would enable the mass produce of SET devices that are operational at room temperature and to integrate these devices on top of an active complementary-MOSFET (CMOS) substrate. To achieve these goals, two fabrication techniques are considered in this work. The Focus Ion Beam (FIB) technique is used to fabricate the islands and the tunnel junctions of the SET device. A Ultra-Violet (UV) light based Nano-Imprint Lithography (NIL) call Step-and-Flash- Imprint Lithography (SFIL) is used to fabricate the interconnections of the SET devices. Combining these two techniques, a full array of SET devices are fabricated on a planar substrate. Test and characterization of the SET devices has shown consistent Coulomb blockade effect, an important single electron characteristic.

To realize a room temperature operational SET device that function as a logic device to work along CMOS, it is important to know the device behavior at different temperatures. Based on the theory developed for a single island SET device, a thermal analysis is carried out on the multi-island SET device and the observation of changes in Coulomb blockade effect is presented. The results show that the multi-island SET device operation highly depends on temperature.

The important parameters that determine the SET operation is the effective capacitance Ceff and tunneling resistance Rt . These two parameters lead to the tunneling rate of an electron in the SET device, Γ. To obtain an accurate model for SET operation, the effects of the deviation in dimensions, the trap states in the insulation, and the background charge effect have to be taken into consideration. The theoretical and experimental evidence for these non-ideal effects are presented in this work.