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P. Douglas Tougaw and Craig S. Lent- Logical devices implemented using quantum celluar automata

P. Douglas Tougaw and Craig S. Lent- Logical devices implemented using quantum celluar automata

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Logical devices imp%emented using quantum cellMar automata
P. Douglas Tougaw and Craig S. Lent
Department of Electrical Engineering, Universi~ of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
(Received 28 July 1993; accepted for publication 26 October 1993)We examine the possible implementation of logic devices using coupled quantum dot cells. Eachquantum cell contains two electrons which interact Coulombically with neighboring cells. Thecharge distribution in each cell tends to align along one of two perpendicular axes, which allowsthe encoding of binary information using the state of the cell. The state of each cell is affectedin a very nonlinear way by the states of its neighbors. A line of these cells can be used to transmitbinary information. We use these cells to design inverters, programmable logic gates, dedicatedAND and OR gates, and non-interfering wire crossings. Complex arrays are simulated whichimplement the exclusive-OR function and a single-bit full adder.1. INTRODUCTIONDevices based on quantum-mechanical principles holdthe promise of faster speeds and greatly reduced sizes.Most quantum device designs examined have been similarto classical device implementations in that they use cur-rents and voltages to encode information. Thus althoughthe device operations proposed have been based on quan-tum physics, the architectures have been conventional.Employing quantum structures in conventional archi-tectures has proven problematic for reasons directly relatedto the inherently small size of quantum-effect devices. Theoutput signal of such ultrasmall devices, which is typicallynanoamperes of current, must be able to drive several othersimilar devices, which may require a change of many mil-livolts in their input voltages. Another significant problemis that the capacitance of interconnecting wires tends todominate the device behavior.’ The wiring problem is ag-gravated by the fact that energy must be supplied to eachcomputational element through power connections.We have recently proposed a scheme in whichCoulomb-coupled quantum devices are connected in a cel-lular automata architecture.’ We call such architecturesquantum cellular automata (QCA).34 A QCA consists ofan array of quantum-dot cells connected locally by theinteractions of the electrons contained in each cell. Thescheme is non-conventional in that the quantum state ofeach cell is used to encode binary information. The Cou-lomb interaction connects the state of one cell to the stateof its neighbors. Thus the problems associated with smalloutput currents and parasitic capacitances of connectingwires do not occur. “Binary wires” composed of lineararrays of cells are effective in transmitting information,coded in the cell states, from one place to another.5In this paper we present simulations of QCA arrays,some of which are quite large, performing complex com-putational tasks. We review the basic cell operation and theuse of linear arrays as a binary wire. Novel programmablelogical gates and inverters are simulated and provide thebasis for computing in this scheme. We demonstrate that itis possible to cross two QCA binary wires in the plane,with no interference. Building up more complicated oper-ations from the basic gates, we simulate QCA implemen-tations of an exclusive-OR function and a full adder. Thisserves to demonstrate that the interactions between cellsare sufficiently local that hierarchical design is possible.The calculations presented here are for zero tempera-ture and assume the several-electron system has relaxed toits ground state before a valid output is read. Unlike con-ventional digital devices, the QCA operates on the princi-ple that inelastic processes will always tend to drive thesystem back to its ground state.’ The time evolution of themany-electron state of the system will in general be verycomplicated, but only the final ground-state properties areused for computing. Applying a new set of inputs placesthe system in an excited state. While the system is relaxing(presumably through a complicated process of exchangingenergy with its environment), the outputs are not valid.Once the system has settled into its new ground state, theresults of the calculation appear encoded in the states ofthe output cells located at an edge of the array. This idea of“computing with the ground state” is discussed at length inRef. 4.In the next section, we will give a review of QCAtheory and the operation of the “standard cell.” The stan-dard cell is the most thoroughly studied cell design becauseit combines physically reasonable design parameters withexcellent bistable saturation. A detailed treatment of thecell, various related cell designs, and our self-consistentcalculations for arrays of coupled cells can be found inRefs. 3-6. Section II D discussed how lines of cells can beused to transmit information using a QCA binary wire.Section III shows a design for an inverter, and Sec. IVdeals with the influence of several neighboring cells on thecell states. This leads to the idea of the majority votinglogic gate and we demonstrate how its behavior can beused to implement a programmable AND/OR gate. Sec-tion V demonstrates a noninterfering planar crossing oftwo QCA wires. Section VI shows how these various ideascan be combined to form an exclusive-OR and a full adder.II. COUPLED QUANTUM CELLSThe standard cell design, shown schematically in Fig.1 (a), consists of five quantum dots located at the cornersand the center of a square. The cell is occupied by a total
1818 J. Appl. Phys. 75 (3), 1 February 1994 0021-8979/94/ 75(3)/ 1818/8/ $6.00@ 1994 American Institute of Physics
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B. Standard cell parametersWe employ a simple model of the standard quantumcell, representing the quantum dots as sites and ignoringany degrees of freedom internal to the dot. We use asecond-quantized Hubbard-type Hamiltonian in the basisof two-particle site kets for this model. The Hamiltonianincludes terms for the on-site energy (the cost to confine asingle electron to a site), tunneling between all pairs of thefive sites, Coulombic interaction between the charge den-sities on each pair of sites, and the on-site charging energyof each site (the purely Coulombic cost for two electrons ofopposite spin to occupy the same dot). The Hamiltonianfor a single isolated cell can be written as
FIG. 1. Schematic of the basic five-site cell. (a) The geometry of the cell.The tunneling energy between the middle site and an outer site is desig-nated by t, while
is the tunneling energy between two outer sites. (b)Coulombic repulsion causes the electrons to occupy antipodal sites withinthe cell. These two bistable states result in cell polarizations of
P= + 1
P=-1 [see Eq.
of two electrons hopping among the five sites. Tunnelingoccurs between the central site and all four of the outersites (near-neighbor tunneling) and to a lesser degree be-tween neighboring outer sites (next-near-neighbor tunnel-ing). It is assumed that the potential barriers between cellsare high enough to completely suppress intercellular tun-neling.The electrons tend to occupy antipodal outer siteswithin the cell due to their mutual electrostatic repulsionas shown in Fig. 1 (b). The two stable states shown aredegenerate in an isolated cell, but an electrostatic pertur-bation in the cell’s environment (such as that caused byneighboring cells) splits the degeneracy and causes one ofthese configurations to become the cell ground state. Al-tering the perturbation causes the cell to switch betweenthe two states in an abrupt and nonlinear manner. Thisvery desirable bistable saturation behavior is due to a com-bination of quantum confinement, Coulombic repulsion,and the discreteness of electronic charge.A. Cell polarizationSince Coulomb repulsion causes the electrons to oc-cupy antipodal sites, the ground state charge distributionmay have the electrons aligned along either of the twodiagonal axes shown in Fig. 1 (b). We therefore define thecell polarization, a quantity which measures the extent towhich the charge distribution is aligned along one of theseaxes. The polarization is defined as
where pi denotes the electronic charge at site i. As shownin Fig. 1 (b), electrons completely localized on sites 1 and3 will result in P- 1, while electrons on sites 2 and 4 yieldP- - 1. An isolated cell would have a ground state whichis an equal combination of these two states and wouldtherefore have a net polarization of zero.8
fg’=c Eoni,c,+>;c&$QJ+~~,&,,)
+ ? E~f~tQ+ i>l,o,a, ”I&-q *ni,an&7’
(21Here ai,, is the second-quantized annihilation operatorwhich destroys a particle at site i (i=O,1,2,3,4) with spina, and ati,a is the creation operator for a similar particle.The number operator for site i and spin u is represented byn6c. The values of the physical parameters used are basedon a simple, experimentally reasonable model. We take E.(the on-site energy) to be the ground state energy of acircular quantum dot of diameter 10 nm holding an elec-tron with effective mass m* =0.067 mo. The near-neighbordistance between dot centers a is taken to be 20 nm. TheCoulomb coupling strength
is calculated for a materialwith a dielectric constant of 10, and E, the on-site charg-ing cost, is taken to be V$( D/3).9 The tunneling energybetween an outer dot and the central dot is r=O.3 meV,and the next-near neighbor coupling connecting the outerdots, t’, is taken to be NO.” To maintain charge neutralityin the cell, a fixed positive charge p= (2/5)e is placed oneach site.”The spins of the two electrons in the cell can be eitherparallel (the triplet spin state) or antiparallel (the singletspin state). We consider here the case of electrons withantiparallel spins, since that is the ground state of the cell.Calculations with electrons having parallel spins yieldqualitatively very similar results.The interaction of a nonisolated cell with its electro-static environment (including neighboring cells) is in-cluded by altering the on-site energies to account for thepotential due to charge on each site of all the neighboringcells. We then solve the time-independent Schrijdingerequation in the basis of two-particle site kets to find theeigenstates of the system. The charge on each site can becalculated by finding the expectation value of the numberoperator in the ground state pi= -c( n^i). These sitecharges can be used to calculate the cell polarization Pusing Eq. (1).For a system composed of many cells, the ground stateof the entire system is found by iteratively solving for theground state of each cell. We treat the physics within thecell as before, including exchange and correlation effectsexactly. The intercellular interaction is treated self-
J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 75, No. 3, 1 February 1994P. D. Tougaw and C. S. Lent1819
Downloaded 28 Mar 2007 to Redistribution subject to AIP license or copyright, see http://jap.aip.org/jap/copyright.jsp
FIG. 2. Cell-cell response function for the basic five-site cells shown inthe insets. This shows the polarization P, induced in cell 1 by the fixedpolarization of its neighbor Pz. The solid line corresponds to the tripletstate, and the dotted line to the singlet state. The two are nearly degen-erate except for very small values of
consistently using a Hartree approximation. This method,called the intercellular Hartree approximation (ICHA) isdiscussed in Refs. 4 and 5.C. Calculating the cell-cell response functionTo be useful in cellular automata-type architectures,the state of a cell must be strongly influenced by the statesof neighboring cells. To demonstrate how one of thesemodel cells is influenced by the state of its neighbor, con-sider the two cells shown in the insets to Fig. 2. These aretwo of the standard cells described above, and their centersare separated by a distance of 3a=60 nm. We assume cell2 has a given polarization
and that the electron proba-bility density on the central site is negligible. This meansthat the charge distribution is completely determined bythe cell polarization. We calculate the electrostatic poten-tial at each site of cell 1. This additional environmentalpotential energy is then included in the Hamiltonian of cell1. The two-electron time-independent Schriidinger equa-tion is solved for a series of values of P2 in the range[- 1, + 11. The ground state polarization of cell 1, PI, isthen computed for each value of
Thus, we can plot theinduced polarization of cell 1 as a function of the polariza-tion of cell 2. This function, P1( P2), which we call thecell-cell response function, is one measure of how well acell will operate in a quantum cellular automata architec-ture.Figure 2 shows the cell-cell response function for thestandard cell. The highly nonlinear nature of the responseindicates that a small polarization in cell 2 causes a verystrong polarization in its neighbor, cell 1. Figure 2 alsoshows that the polarization of cell 1 saturates very quicklyto a value of + 1 or - 1. This bistable saturation is the basisof the quantum cellular automata since it means that onecan encode bit information using the cell polarization. Weassign the bit value of 1 to the P= + 1 state and the bitvalue 0 to the P= - 1 state. Since the cell is almost alwaysin a highly polarized state ( 1PI B 1 ), the state of the cellwill be indeterminate only if the electrostatic environmentdue to other cells is perfectly symmetric. Reference 6 ex-amines the cell-cell response for various cell designs.
a) I;flir’lc”11.LJC ‘lr;7.‘II.
2 4 6 8
10Cell NumberFIG. 3. A QCA wire. (a) Three binary wires being driven from the left.In each case, a weakly polarized driver induces full polarization in the restof the wire. This allows the transmission of information down the lengthof the wire. The diagram is not simply schematic. The diameter of eachdot shown is proportional to the charge on the corresponding site, ob-tained from a self-consistent solution for the ground state charge distri-bution in this system. (b) Polarization of the wire cells for various valuesof the driver cell polarization. The wires rapidly recover from a weakdriver and maintain full polarization through their entire length.
D. The binary wireSince the polarization of each cell tends to align withthat of its neighbors, a linear arrangement of standard cellscan be used to transmit binary information from one pointto another. Figure 3(a) shows three such lines of cells inwhich the polarization of the left-most cell is fixed and theother cells are free. In each case, all of the free cells alignin the same direction as the driving cell, so the informationcontained in the state of the driver is transmitted down thewire.The three different systems in Fig. 3(a) each show adifferent polarization of the driving cell. In each case thefree cells are nearly completely polarized. Figure 3 (b)shows plots of the polarization of a line of cells for variousvalues of polarization in the driver cell. As in Fig. 3 (a), wesee that the polarizations of the free cells rapidly recoverfrom a weakly polarized driver and maintain full polariza-tion throughout the line. The wire is robust in the sensethat it transmits a binary value (corresponding to a polar-ization of roughly + 1 or - 1) even if the driver, or anyintermediate cells, are weakly polarized. The nonlinear re-sponse of the cell to the polarization of its neighbors playsthe role of gain in a conventional digital circuit. It restoresthe signal to the “signal rails.” The wire is also thereforerobust against cell-to-cell variations in the cell parameters.Precise control of cellular geometry or tunneling rates isnot required. Further discussion of such lines of cells canbe found in Ref. 5.It is important to note that unless stated otherwise,these figures are not simply schematic, but plots of the
Phys., Vol. 75, No. 3, 1 February 1994 P. D. Tougaw
C. S. Lent
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