We report recent progress in single keV ion implantation and online detection for the controlled implantation of single donors in silicon. When integrated with silicon nanofabrication technology this forms the “top down” strategy for the construction of prototype solid state quantum computer devices based on phosphorus donors in silicon. We have developed a method of single ion implantation and online registration that employs detector electrodes adjacent to the area into which the donors are to be implanted. The implantation sites are positioned with nanometer accuracy using an electron beam lithography patterned PMMA mask. Control of the implantation depth of 20 nm is achieved by tuning the phosphorus ion energy to 14 keV. The counting of single ion implantation in each site is achieved by the detection of e-/h+ pairs produced by the implanted phosphorus ion in the substrate. The system is calibrated by use of Mn K-line x-rays (5.9 and 6.4 keV) and we find the ionization energy of the 14 keV phosphorus ions in silicon to be about 3.5-4.0 keV for implants through a 5 nm SiO2 surface layer. This paper describes the development of an improved PIN detector structure that provides more reliable performance of the earlier MOS structure. With the new structure, the energy noise threshold has been minimized to 1 keV or less. Unambiguous detection/counting of single keV ion implantation events were achieved with a confidence level greater than 98% with a reliable and reproducible fabrication process.
We report on progress towards a charge-based qubit using phosphorus atoms implanted in a silicon substrate. Prototype devices have been fabricated using standard lithographic techniques together with a new method of controlled single ion implantation using on-chip detector electrodes. Positional accuracy of the implanted ions was achieved using a nanoaperture mask defined using electron beam lithography. The two implanted phosphorus atoms are positioned ~50 nm apart, to form a qubit test device. A series of process steps has been developed to repair implant damage, define surface control gates, and to define single electron transistors used for qubit readout via the detection of sub-electron charge transfer signals. Preliminary electrical measurements on these devices show single charge transfer events that are resilient to thermal cycling.
The construction of micro- and nano-scale electronic devices that exploit the properties of single atoms have been proposed. A very promising device is a silicon based solid state quantum computer based on an array of single 31P atoms as qubits in a pure 28Si substrate. Operation of the device requires independent control, coupling and readout of the state of individual qubits. We have developed a construction strategy for a few qubit device based on ion implantation of the qubits into prefabricated cells. An ion energy of less than 20 keV is necessary to ensure the ion range is at the required depth in the substrate which is of the order of 20 nm. Single ion impacts are registered by the electrical transient induced in an external circuit. Electron Beam Lithography fabricated cells, containing electrodes of the required nanometre scale, have been implanted with 14 keV 31P ions and the pulse height spectrum of single ion impacts has been successfully recorded. Discrimination on the pulse height allows rejection of ions that suffer unacceptable straggling. This opens the way to the rapid construction of a two qubit device in the first instance that will test many of the essential mechanisms of a revolutionary solid state quantum computer.
The nuclear spin quantum computer proposed by Kane1 exploits as a qubit array 31P dopants embedded within a silicon matrix. Single-qubit operations are controlled by the application of electrostatic potentials via a set of metallic A gates, situated above the donors, on the silicon surface, that tune the resonance frequency of individual nuclear spins, and a globally applied RF magnetic field that flips spins at resonance. Coupling between qubits is controlled by the application of potentials via a set of J gates, between the donors, that induce an electron-mediated coupling between nuclear spins. We report the results of a study of the electric field and potential profiles arising within the Kane device from typical gate operations. The extent to which a single nuclear spin can be tuned independently of its neighbours, by operation of an associated A-gate, is examined and key design parameters in the Kane architecture are addressed. Implications for current fabrication strategies involving the implantation of 31P atoms are discussed. Solution of the Poisson equation has been carried out by simulation using a TCAD modeling package (Integrated Systems Engineering AG).
We describe a novel technique for the fabrication of nanoscale structures, based on the development of localized chemical modification caused in a PMMA resist by the implantation of single ions. The implantation of 2 MeV He ions through a thin layer of PMMA into an underlying silicon substrate causes latent damage in the resist. On development of the resist we demonstrate the formation within the PMMA layer of clearly defined etched holes, of typical diameter 30 nm, observed using an atomic force microscope employing a carbon nanotube SPM probe in intermittent-contact mode. This technique has significant potential applications. Used purely to register the passage of an ion, it may be a useful verification of the impact sites in an ion-beam modification process operating at the single-ion level. Furthermore, making use of the hole in the PMMA layer to perform subsequent fabrication steps, it may be applied to the fabrication of self-aligned structures in which surface features are fabricated directly above regions of an underlying substrate that are locally doped by the implanted ion. Our primary interest in single-ion resists relates to the development of a solid-state quantum computer based on an array of 31P atoms (which act as qubits) embedded with nanoscale precision in a silicon matrix. One proposal for the fabrication of such an array is by phosphorous-ion implantation. A single-ion resist would permit an accurate verification of 31P implantation sites. Subsequent metalisation of the latent damage may allow the fabrication of self-aligned metal gates above buried phosphorous atoms.