Plasma Technology for Advanced Devices

Crossbar Circuits

Crossbar circuits (sometimes called crossbar latches) allow to create logic functions without the use of transistors. The main component of the crossbar circuit is a network of nanoscale switches that can be activated by applying a voltage to the corresponding crossing point. Due to the very small size of these nanowires, defects and imperfections are unavoidable. Random fluctuations make it essentially impossible to create a perfect structure from elements with the size of a few atoms. The crossbar circuit must therefore have a built in redundancy. Novel architectural designs and coding theory techniques are being used to compensate for these physical imperfections.

An overview of the groups working on crossbar architectures can be found in Scientific American 11/2005, p. 80. The following table is taken ffrom this article and the corresponding links are added for further reading.

Group

Institution

Switch

J.R. Heath
J.F. Stoddart

Caltech
UCLA

Rotaxane monolayer between silicon and titanium nanowires

C. Lieber
A. DeHon

Harvard University
Caltech

Silicon nanowire field-effect transistor

M. Aono

National Institute for Materials Science, Japan

Silver sulfide ionic conductor (silver based atomic switch)

R. Waser

Research Center Juelich

Defect motion in ferroelectric thin films

K.K. Likharev

Stony Brook University

Molecular single-electron transistor

P.J. Kuekes, G.S. Snider, R.S. Williams

Hewlett-Packard Laboratories

Metal nanowire oxidation/reduction (crossbar latches)

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