Book Review

Nanoelectronic Device Applications Handbook OPEN ACCESS

[+] Author and Article Information
Krzysztof Iniewski

CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2013.

Department of Physics, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260, e-mail: zigor@buffalo.edu

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 4(3), 036501 (Feb 26, 2014) (2 pages) Paper No: NANO-14-1006; doi: 10.1115/1.4026668 History: Received January 21, 2014; Revised February 04, 2014


Consider holding a contemporary laptop. It typically does more than we want: Not only can such a laptop provide powerful number crunching, dazzling graphics, and instant online connections to people across the world, it can also keep one warm with the excess heat it creates. Unless one is trying to use it as an alternative fireplace, it is often not desirable to put a laptop in one's lap. Keeping the ever more powerful future laptops cool illustrates challenges facing nanoelectronics. The key question of how to reduce the power consumption in nanoelectronic devices may have some surprising answers. A common understanding is that a goal to put even more of smaller and smaller transistors in microprocessor implies that a transistor should be the main culprit for the power consumption. However, the situation is more complex. Increasingly, the bottleneck is not just how to process the information, i.e., the improvement of transistors, but also how the information is communicated. The pathways for information transfer, known as interconnects, are realized in microprocessors by sending voltage pulses along metallic wires. Unfortunately, as we try to increase information transmission and cram more of such wires closer together many fundamental problems arise: the interconnects are increasingly the main source of excess heat.

The Nanoelectronic Device Applications Handbook is an outstanding edited collection of the state-of-the-art contributions, both revealing challenges in nanoelectronics, as well as carefully elucidating possible solutions for improved transistors, interconnects, and memory. This is also effectively reflected in the structure of the Handbook, recognizing that a critical review of electronic devices with minimal features of just tens of nanometers requires a multidisciplinary approach and covering many aspects: from advanced modeling, materials, and fabrication, to novel device concepts.

This comprehensive 900-page Handbook includes 68 Chapters, conveniently grouped in 20 Sections. Thematically, one can view the progression in these Sections from more conventional approaches, closely relying on the improvement of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology, to the more radical ideas in which devices operate using magnetic interactions and the carriers' spin, rather than their charge. In that sense, the term “nanoelectronic devices” in this Handbook should be considered broadly, rather than confined to its usual connotation of charged-based devices at the nanoscale.

Sections I and II Nano-CMOS Modeling and Technology are dedicated to the current advances in metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET)/CMOS technology. Section III describes different applications of Nanocapacitors and highlights their importance as passive components in electronic systems. Section IV on Terahertz Systems and Devices describes intriguing opportunities in the THz regime, such as nano antennas for energy conversion and ballistic transistor logic. Two subsequent Sections reveal the key role of quantum phenomena in device operation. Section V on Single-Electron Transistor and Electron Tunneling Devices contains also a forward-looking path to minimizing power consumption inspired by human brain. Section VI on Quantum Cellular Automata provides a different computational paradigm, requiring no particle flow for information processing and transfer, but relying on the interactions of a set of bistable cells. Memristors, important both as resistive switches and memory elements, are discussed in Sec. VII.

The next part of the Handbook, by focusing on carbon-based systems, identifies a strong connection between the specific materials implementation and device functionalities. Sections VIII and IX pertain to graphene—a single layer of carbon atoms. Its fascinating mechanical, chemical, and thermal properties are also altering what can be feasible in graphene-based electronics. A logical succession to graphene is provided in Secs. X–XIII discussing fabrication, modeling, and various applications of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), with a particular focus on the CNT transistors, interconnects, infrared sensors, and electrolytic capacitors. Section XIV on Nano-Redundant Systems provides an important guidance for computation as the scaling-down in nanoelectronics continues, describing device schemes that would support a large rate of defects and provide fault-tolerant computation.

Focusing on one-dimensional device geometry and representing a wide range of materials, Secs. XV–XVII address nanowire (NW) fabrication, applications, and transistors. This part of the book explores implications beyond nanoelectronics and also explains the importance of NWs for optoelectronics and biosensing. NW transistor applications are also very encouraging for transparent electronics and high-performance displays. The following two Sections are related and provide a departure from charge-based nanoelectronics. They discuss device possibilities centered around magnetic interactions and carrier spin which could provide a seamless integration of logic and memory. Section XVII on Nanomagnetic Logic explores the inherent nonvolatility and radiation hardness of magnetic systems, while understanding of some their implementations builds on the concepts of quantum cellular automata from Sec. VI. In Sec. XIX on Spintronics, the chosen topics exploring spin-based devices benefit from the rest of the Handbook. For example, the previous Sections on graphene aid the understanding of graphene spintronics, while the Section on nanomagnetic logic provides additional motivation in the quest for an effective switching of magnetization. Section XX gives an overview of realistic modeling of nanoelectronic devices. Even thought the focus is on charge-based properties, some of the computational tools are also appropriate to study spin degrees of freedom and magnetism, providing a suitable closing of the Handbook.

Ultimately, the success of this Handbook is determined not only by what is included but also what was judiciously left out. This carefully planed outcome was made possible by an extensive expertise in nanotechnology of its Co-Editors, James E. Morris and Krzysztof Iniewski. The Handbook arose from a distinguished IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology 2011, held in Portland, Oregon. The selected topics, from nearly 400 presentations, represent the vision of the Co-Editors for the material that is both timely and will have a lasting value. The scope of the topics covered here is very impressive. Even a content pertaining to a single Section, such as spintronics, could extend to be a separate book itself. Nevertheless, the material provided in the Handbook provides an excellent overview of the broadly defined field of nanoelectronic devices. Detailed references at the end of each chapter with titles provided are valuable in simplifying the further reading on a given topic. The result of this editorial effort is a comprehensive Handbook that will be a great resource for students and researchers. Its well-balanced and clear presentations will attract both engineers and scientists of diverse backgrounds.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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