HP Labs' nanotechnology research team has a long history of scientific breakthroughs, major patents and seminal publications, and has been repeatedly honored by both business and technical groups.
In 2005, Small Times magazine named the team's U.S. patent collection as the world's top nanotechnology intellectual property portfolio. The same year, the Chinese Academy of Science voted HP Labs' crossbar latch as the year’s number three scientific breakthrough (behind the Cassini and Deep Impact space missions).
Following are some our key achievements in nanoarchitectonics, nanoelectronics, nanomechanics and nanophotonics.
Developed new families of defect-tolerant computer architectures, enabling perfect operation despite the increasingly unavoidable fabrication flaws appearing on all microelectronic circuits as they shrink towards the nanometer scale.
- Crossbar architecture -- a design in which parallel wires are crossed by a second set of wires to create a nanoscale electronic switch. This architecture can deliver memory, logic and integrated memory and logic functions. (1999-present)
- Field programmable nanowire interconnect -- a design that dramatically improves the density and defect- tolerance of programmable silicon circuits using a nanowire interconnect in a layer above the transistors. (2007)
Designed and built some of the world's smallest nano-crosspoint electronic switches using nano-imprint lithography to pattern custom molecules and oxide nanomaterials, to demonstrate:
- a 64 bit nano-crosspoint memory at 50 nm half-pitch (2003)
- a 1 kilobit nano-crosspoint memory at 30 nm half-pitch (2004)
- a 16 kilobit nano-crosspoint memory at 17 nm half-pitch; a density not targeted until 2018 by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (2005)
- the first integrated memory and logic circuit at 50 nm half-pitch (2003)
- a nano-crosspoint latch that may replace silicon transistors by providing the signal restoration and inversion necessary for computation (2005)
- an entirely new family of one-dimensional crosspoint switching logic (2006)
Fabricated the world’s first self-assembled silicon nanowires with perfect crystalline nano-micro connections at both ends of the nanowire (2003), and used these to show:
- Ultra-sensitive label-free DNA sensors (2004)
- Ultra-sensitive gas sensors (2006)
- Built capacitance-based sensors that determine the position of devices to less than an atomic diameter. The device can be operated as a positioner with similar resolution. Working on the nanoscale requires the ability to manipulate things at this scale. (2002)
- Developed nano-imprint lithography technology. (2004)
- Developed high-performance inertial sensors (accelerometers and gyroscopes) that provide size, cost, performance and integration levels not previously available. (2007)
Launched in 2005, the nanophotonics program has achieved milestones in the following areas:
Quantum information processing
This work aims to build chip-scale photonic quantum information processors that could enable wholly new ways of computation. We have:
Negative index metamaterials
- Demonstrated optical control of the quantum state of a single electron in nitrogen-vacancy color center (an artificial atom) in diamond, a building block for a quantum computer.
- Developed secure quantum random bit generator for quantum communication applications.
- Achieved quantum-entangled photon generation at the rate of millions of pairs per second for quantum computation and communication.
This describes our work with artificial materials fabricated with nanoimprint lithography that demonstrate a negative infraction of light. Achievements include:
- Demonstrated superlensing with a resolution more than 10 times that of conventional lenses.
- Modulated optical data at speeds more than 20 times current fiber optic technology.
- Converted near-infrared light at telecommunications wavelengths (those used by telecommunications systems and optical fibers) into visible light for more efficient detection.
This work is aimed at starting a Moore's Law for optics, in which increasingly large amounts of optical performance are packed into small spaces at continually decreasing costs. We have:
- Used nano-metallic structures to enhance Raman scattering by ten orders of magnitude for sensors with unprecedented sensitivity.
- Demonstrated large-scale photonic bandgap crystal fabrication using nanoimprint lithography for chip-scale optical circuits.