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


Paul L Bergstrom


The single electron transistor (SET) is a Coulomb blockade device, whose operation is based on the controlled manipulation of individual electrons. Single electron transistors show immense potential to be used in future ultra lowpower devices, high density memory and also in high precision electrometry. Most SET devices operate at cryogenic temperatures, because the charging energy is much smaller than the thermal oscillations. The room temperature operation of these devices is possible with sub- 10nm nano-islands due to the inverse dependance of charging energy on the radius of the conducting nano-island. The fabrication of sub-10nm features with existing lithographic techniques is a technological challenge. Here we present the results for the first room temperature operating SET device fabricated using Focused Ion Beam deposition technology. The SET device, incorporates an array of tungsten nano-islands with an average diameter of 8nm. The SET devices shows clear Coulomb blockade for different gate voltages at room temperature. The charging energy of the device was calculated to be 160.0 meV; the capacitance per junction was found to be 0.94 atto F; and the tunnel resistance per junction was calculated to be 1.26 G Ω. The tunnel resistance is five orders of magnitude larger than the quantum of resistance (26 k Ω) and allows for the localization of electrons on the tungsten nano-island. The lower capacitance of the device combined with the high tunnel resistance, allows for the Coulomb blockade effects observed at room temperature. Different device configurations, minimizing the total capacitance of the device have been explored. The effect of the geometry of the nano electrodes on the device characteristics has been presented. Simulated device characteristics, based on the soliton model have been discussed. The first application of SET device as a gas sensor has been demonstrated.