The Nanoelectronics Group

We have several research interests within the broader topic of the physics of nanoscale electronic devices and condensed matter physics. Our current focus is in three areas:

1. Semiconductor nanowires and nanowire-based devices: The development of novel electronic devices based on self-assembled semiconductor nanowires made with III-V semiconductors such as InAs and GaAs. We are particularly interested in novel strategies for electrostatic gating and device fabrication using nanowires towards making new, potentially useful nanowire devices. This includes bringing materials across from organic electronics, e.g., polymer electrolytes, to add function to 'traditionally hard' semiconductors, e.g., III-Vs. We are also interested in the electronic properties of semiconductor nanowires. This work involves collaborations with Lund University in Sweden, the Australian National University, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.

2. Nanoelectronics as a tool in biology: Carbon nanotubes and ultra-thin semiconductor nanowires have a high surface-to-volume ratio that makes their conductivity highly sensitive to their near surface charge environment. This provides the potential to detect conformational changes in proteins bound to the nanowire/nanotube by analysis of the transistor current. Our aim is to extend this as a tool for studying dynamical aspects of biological molecular motor systems at sub-ms timescales. This work involves collaborations with Lund University in Sweden, the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.

3. Novel Materials for Electronics: Our interest is in novel materials for electronics mostly aimed at bringing some of the best aspects of 'soft' organic electronics across to traditionally 'hard' semiconductor devices. Our work has included the development of conductive plastic films made by ion-beam techniques, soluble acene derivatives, and the first electron-beam processible polymer electrolytes, which we have recently used to make nanowire transistors with multiple independently controllable polymer electrolyte gates. This work involves collaborations with the University of Queensland, the University of Kentucky in the U.S.A., Lund University in Sweden and the Australian National University.

Key Recent Publications -- For complete list see 'Publications' tab in menu to left

  • "Electron-beam patterning of polymer electrolyte films to make multiple nanoscale gates for nanowire transistors", D.J. Carrad, A.M. Burke, R.W. Lyttleton, H.J. Joyce, H.H. Tan, C. Jagadish, K. Storm, H. Linke, L. Samuelson and A.P. Micolich, Nano Letters 14, 94 (2014).

    This paper was subject of a news article in Materials Today (17/2/14).

  • "Quantum Point Contacts: Double or Nothing?", A.P. Micolich, Nature Physics 9, 530 (2013).

    This was an invited News & Views article to discuss two recent Nature articles on the 0.7 anomaly in QPCs by Bauer et al. and Iqbal et al.

  • "Electronic comparison of InAs wurtzite and zincblende phases using nanowire transistors", A.R. Ullah, H.J. Joyce, A.M. Burke, J. Wong-Leung, H.H. Tan, C. Jagadish and A.P. Micolich, Physica Status Solidi - Rapld Research Letters 7, 911 (2013).

    This paper was in a Focus Issue on Semiconductor Nanowires in PSS-RRL.

  • "The effect of (NH4)2Sx passivation on the (311)A GaAs surface and its use in AlGaAs/GaAs heterostructure devices", D.J. Carrad, A.M. Burke, P.J. Reece, R.W. Lyttleton, D.E.J. Waddington, A. Rai, D. Reuter, A.D. Wieck and A.P. Micolich, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 25, 325304 (2013).

    This paper was the cover article for Issue 32 of Volume 25 of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter.

  • "Is it the boundaries or disorder that dominates electron transport in semiconductor 'billiards'?", A.P. Micolich, A.M. See, B.C. Scannell, C.A. Marlow, T.P. Martin, I. Pilgrim, A.R. Hamilton, H. Linke and R.P. Taylor, Fortschritte der Physik 61, 332 (2013).

    This paper was a 16 page invited review article on ballistic transport in quantum dots and the implications of our recent work on small-angle scattering and disorder in these devices as part of a special issue on "Quantum Physics with non-Hermitian Operators: Theory and Experiment".

  • "Origin of gate hysteresis in p-type Si-doped AlGaAs/GaAs heterostructures", A.M. Burke, D.E.J. Waddington, D.J. Carrad, R.W. Lyttleton, H.H. Tan, P.J. Reece, O. Klochan, A.R. Hamilton, A. Rai, D. Reuter, A.D. Wieck and A.P. Micolich, Physical Review B 86, 165309 (2012).

    This paper was one of seven articles highlighted as an 'Editor's Suggestion' in this issue of Physical Review B.

  • "Extreme Sensitivity of the Spin-Splitting and 0.7 Anomaly to Confining Potential in One-Dimensional Nanoelectronic Devices", A.M. Burke, O. Klochan, I. Farrer, D.A. Ritchie, A.R. Hamilton and A.P. Micolich, Nano Letters 12, 4495 (2012).

  • "Impact of Small-angle Scattering on Ballistic Transport in Quantum Dots", A.M. See, I. Pilgrim, B.C. Scannell, R.D. Montgomery, O. Klochan, A.M. Burke, M. Aagesen, P.E. Lindelof, I. Farrer, D.A. Ritchie, R.P. Taylor, A.R. Hamilton and A.P. Micolich, Physical Review Letters 108, 196807 (2012).

    This paper was highlighted by news articles in Science Daily, PhysOrg and Science Alert, and a podcast for Materials Today.

  • "Realizing lateral wrap-gated nanowire FETs: Controlling gate length with chemistry rather than lithography", K. Storm, G. Nylund, L. Samuelson and A.P. Micolich, Nano Letters 12, 1 (2012).

    This paper is the cover article for the Jan. 2012 edition of Nano Letters.
    This paper was highlighted by news articles in Materials Today, PhysOrg and Zeitnews.

  • "What lurks below the last plateau: experimental studies of the 0.7 x 2e2/h conductance anomaly in one-dimensional systems", A.P. Micolich, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 23, 443201 (2011).

    This paper is a 73 page review article on the 15 year history of the 0.7 plateau in quantum point contacts.

  • * "Observation of the Kondo Effect in a Spin-3/2 Hole Quantum Dot", O. Klochan, A.P. Micolich, A.R. Hamilton, K. Trunov, D. Reuter and A.D. Wieck, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 076805 (2011).

  • "Tracking the energies of one-dimensional sub-band edges in quantum point contacts using dc conductance measurements", A.P. Micolich and U. Zülicke, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 23, 362201 (2011).

  • "A Tunable Metal-Organic Resistance Thermometer", A.P. Stephenson, A.P. Micolich, K.H. Lee, P. Meredith and B.J. Powell,Chem. Phys. Chem. 12, 116 (2010).

    This Communication was highlighted by news articles in Materials Today, Wired, PhysOrg, TCE Today, and Chemistry Views.
    This Communication made Chem.Phys.Chem.'s list of 25 most downloaded papers for 2011.

  • * "AlGaAs/GaAs single electron transistors fabricated without modulation doping", A.M. See, O. Klochan, A.R. Hamilton, A.P. Micolich, M. Aagesen and P.E. Lindelof, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 112104 (2010).

  • "Competition between superconductivity and weak localization in metal-mixed ion-implanted polymers", A.P. Stephenson, A.P. Micolich, U. Divakar, P. Meredith and B.J. Powell, Phys. Rev. B 81, 144520 (2010).

  • "Superconductivity in metal-mixed ion-implanted polymer films", A.P. Micolich, E. Tavenner, B.J. Powell, A.R. Hamilton, M.T. Curry, R.E. Giedd and P. Meredith, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 152503 (2006).

* indicates papers completed in close association with Quantum Electronic Devices group