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Single-electron devices and their applications

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1 Author(s)
K. K. Likharev ; Dept. of Phys., State Univ. of New York, Stony Brook, NY, USA

The goal of this paper is to review in brief the basic physics of single-election devices, as well as their-current and prospective applications. These devices based on the controllable transfer of single electrons between small conducting “islands”, have already enabled several important scientific experiments. Several other applications of analog single-election devices in unique scientific instrumentation and metrology seem quite feasible. On the other hand, the prospect of silicon transistors being replaced by single-electron devices in integrated digital circuits faces tough challenges and remains uncertain. Nevertheless, even if this replacement does not happen, single electronics will continue to play an important role by shedding light on the fundamental size limitations of new electronic devices. Moreover, recent research in this field has generated some by-product ideas which may revolutionize random-access-memory and digital-data-storage technologies

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:87 ,  Issue: 4 )