Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chnadigarh:Researchers are fabricating the world’s smallest silicon sensor that will be extremely powerful and yet consume very little power. The sensor, with applications in bio-sensing and ecological monitoring, is being developed by researchers at the University of Southampton. Being developed as part the European Nano-electro-mechanical-system-integrated-circuits (NEMSIC) project, the sensor will integrate single-electron transistors (SETs) and nano-electro-mechanical systems (NEMS) on a common silicon technology platform.
Hiroshi Mizuta, Head of the team developing the project said that power consumption is a big issue at the moment as devices use current whether they are switched off and on and SET, combined with the NEM device technology, reduces power consumption at both ‘on’ and ‘off’ states of the sensor. Stand-by power is reduced to zero by having a complete sleep with the NEM switch when it is off.
Mizuta and his team are developing the SET with a unique suspended silicon nanobridge that will work as an extremely sensitive detector for biological and chemical molecules.
Mizuta stressed that this is the first time that anyone has combined these two nanotechnologies to develop a smart sensor and the traditional Complementary Metal-oxide-Semiconductor or CMOS approach has many limitations.