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Published December 6, 2007 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

The Emergence of a Coupled Quantum Dot Array in a Doped Silicon Nanowire Gated by Ultrahigh Density Top Gate Electrodes


The electrical characteristics of Si nanowire gated by an array of very closely spaced nanowire gate electrodes are experimentally determined and theoretically modeled. Qualitative and quantitative changes in the transport characteristics of these devices, as a function of gate-array voltage, are described. Experiments are reported for two widths of Si nanowires, 40 and 17 nm, and for a varying number of gate electrodes, all spaced at a pitch of 33 nm. We find that these top nanowire gate electrodes can be utilized to locally deplete the carriers in the underlying Si nanowire and thus define an array of coupled quantum dots along the nanowire. Reproducible Coulomb blockade is observed, and clear diamond features are obtained when the conductance is plotted in the plane of the source-drain and gate voltages. The regularity of the diamond diagrams is imposed by the regularity of the SNAP top gate electrodes. Model computations of the electronic structure starting from a tight-biding Hamiltonian in the atomic basis suggest that the control made possible by the top gate voltage induces the emergence (and reversible submergence) of a coupled quantum dot structure in an otherwise homogenously doped Si nanowire.

Additional Information

© 2007 American Chemical Society. Received 16 February 2007. Published online 17 August 2007. Published in print 1 December 2007. This article is dedicated to the memory of Richard E. Smalley. Rick was a spectacular scientist, an inspirational teacher, a visionary leader, and a wonderful friend. The experiment−theory collaboration is supported by the U.S.−Israel Binational Science Foundation, BSF, Jerusalem, Israel. J.R.H. acknowledges primary support from the Department of Energy (DOE) and partial support from the MARCO Center for Advanced Structures and Devices. F.R. is Directeur de Recherches, FNRS, Belgium. R.D.L. and F.R. thank the EC FET-Open STREP project MOLDYNLOGIC.

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