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Isolating and moving single atoms using silicon nanocrystals

United States Patent

September 7, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A method is disclosed for isolating single atoms of an atomic species of interest by locating the atoms within silicon nanocrystals. This can be done by implanting, on the average, a single atom of the atomic species of interest into each nanocrystal, and then measuring an electrical charge distribution on the nanocrystals with scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM) or electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) to identify and select those nanocrystals having exactly one atom of the atomic species of interest therein. The nanocrystals with the single atom of the atomic species of interest therein can be sorted and moved using an atomic force microscope (AFM) tip. The method is useful for forming nanoscale electronic and optical devices including quantum computers and single-photon light sources.
Carroll; Malcolm S. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
11/ 931,155
October 31, 2007
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.