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24 May 2007


SRC and NSF grants $2m to next-generation logic nanoelectronics programs

The university-research consortium Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) of Durham, NC, USA and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) have announced three-year grants totalling $2m for projects at six NSF centers of nanoelectronics research across 10 US universities. The aim is to advance the search for a replacement for the basic complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) field-effect transistor (FET) logic switch structure that has served the microelectronics industry for more than 30 years, and specifically to demonstrate novel computing devices and their feasibility in simple computer circuits in the next 5-10 years.

“Without a breakthrough, the phenomenal advances in semiconductor capabilities will slow drastically as we reach the fundamental limits of current technology in the next decade or so,” says Dr Jeff Welser, director of the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (NRI), which is one of three research program entities of SRC.

The joint NSF-NRI supplemental grants have been awarded to the following six teams:

  • - The Center for Nanoscale Systems in Information Technologies (, a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center at Cornell University directed by Dr Robert Buhrman (with a project team led by Dr Edwin Kan);
  • - The Network for Computational Nanotechnology at Purdue University (, directed by Dr Mark Lundstrom (working with Dr Supriyo Datta, Dr M. Ashraf Alam, Dr Kaushik Roy, and Dr Gerhard Klimeck);
  • - The Center for Nanoscopic Materials Design, a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of Virginia ( directed by Dr Robert Hull (working with Dr Stuart Wolf and Dr Jerry Floro, as well as Dr David Awschalom at the University of California at Santa Barbara);
  • - The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the University of Maryland (, directed by Dr Ellen Williams (with a project team led by Dr Sankar DasSarma, together with Dr Allan MacDonald at the University of Texas at Austin);
  • - The Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (, a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Yale University directed by Dr John Tully (with a project team led by Dr Charles Ahn);

The Quantum and Spin Phenomena in Nanomagnetic Structures, a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center ( directed by Dr David Sellmyer at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (working with Dr Evgeny Tsymbal and Dr Kirill Belashchenko, as well as Dr Renat Sabirianov at the University of Nebraska at Omaha).

Companies participating in the NRI (Advanced Micro Devices, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Intel, Micron Technology, and Texas Instruments) will assign researchers to collaborate with the university teams.

“Supplemental grants with the NRI are complementary to NSF’s significant fundamental research investments in nanoelectronics,” says Dr Lawrence Goldberg, senior engineering advisor at the NSF. The NSF-NRI grants are in addition to six grants made to NSF centers last year, expanding and strengthening the commitment to the program. “Applying support for additional graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to the six centers’ programs should demonstrably advance new concepts and, at the same time, help in developing new generations of researchers in this emerging field,” Goldberg adds.

See related item:

SRC launches compound semiconductor research center