Atom-by-Atom Construction of a Quantum Device

Jason R. Petta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs) are conventionally used to probe surfaces with atomic resolution. Recent advances in STM include tunneling from spin-polarized and superconducting tips, time-domain spectroscopy, and the fabrication of atomically precise Si nanoelectronics. In this issue of ACS Nano, Tettamanzi et al. probe a single-atom transistor in silicon, fabricated using the precision of a STM, at microwave frequencies. While previous studies have probed such devices in the MHz regime, Tettamanzi et al. probe a STM-fabricated device at GHz frequencies, which enables excited-state spectroscopy and measurements of the excited-state lifetime. The success of this experiment will enable future work on quantum control, where the wave function must be controlled on a time scale that is much shorter than the decoherence time. We review two major approaches that are being pursued to develop spin-based quantum computers and highlight some recent progress in the atom-by-atom fabrication of donor-based devices in silicon. Recent advances in STM lithography may enable practical bottom-up construction of large-scale quantum devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2382-2386
Number of pages5
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Kane quantum computer
  • phosphorus
  • quantum device
  • silicon
  • spectroscopy


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