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Published April 19, 2005 | Published
Journal Article Open

Electrical addressing of confined quantum systems for quasiclassical computation and finite state logic machines


Conduction spectroscopy measures the current I through a nanosystem as a function of the voltage V between two electrodes. The differential conductance, dI/dV, has peaks that can be assigned to resonance conditions with different electronic levels of the system. Between these increments, the current has roughly constant plateaus. We discuss how measurements of the current vs. voltage can be used to perform Boolean operations and hence construct finite state logic machines and combinational circuits. The inputs to the device are the source–drain voltage, including its sign, and a gate voltage applied in a manner analogous to optical Stark spectroscopy. As simple examples, we describe a two-state set–reset machine (a machine whose output depends on the input and also on its present state) and a full adder circuit (a circuit that requires three inputs and provides two outputs).

Additional Information

© 2005 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Contributed by R. D. Levine, March 6, 2005. Published online before print April 8, 2005, 10.1073/pnas.0501623102 We thank James Kinsey and Itamar Willner for their critical reading of a preliminary version. This work was supported by the U.S.–Israel Binational Science Foundation (Jerusalem) and by the European Community Specific Targeted Research Projects Future and Emerging Technologies Open Project MOLDYNLOGIC. F.R. is a Maître de Recherches, Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique. Author contributions: F.R., J.R.H., and R.D.L. performed research; and R.D.L. wrote the paper.

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