Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

The World's Smallest Shielded Room: Encasing a Single Electron Transistor in a Nano-Faraday Cage

Published

Author(s)

William Huber, Neil M. Zimmerman, D Josell

Abstract

Over the past decade, a class of devices has been developed based upon the phenomenon of single electron tunneling (SET). These devices exploit the quantized nature of an electron's charge to, among other uses, detect minute fractions of an electronic charge or shuttle individual electrons across a sample with exquisite precision. SET devices therefore offer the possibility of constructing a long sought after electrical current standard simply by counting individual electrons. At present however, a SET current standard is out of reach because the characteristics of these devices are not stable over time. This instability is caused by small bundles of charge located near the sample which slowly wander, even at the exceptionally low operating temperatures of the SET devices. To attempt to shield the devices from the mobile bundles, we have constructed the World's first nano-Faraday cage and encased individual SET devices entirely inside the tiny enclosures. We have found that nano-Faraday cages provide superior environmental and electrostatic discharge protection for the encased SET devices. At present, the cages are unfortunately equipped with their own bundles of mobile stray charge. We are however researching alternative cage fabrication techniques to drastically decrease the overall amount of stray charge and hence decrease the instability of single electron tunneling devices.
Citation
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -

Keywords

electron transistor, nano-Faraday cage, single electron tunneling, SET

Citation

Huber, W. , Zimmerman, N. and Josell, D. (2000), The World's Smallest Shielded Room: Encasing a Single Electron Transistor in a Nano-Faraday Cage, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed February 28, 2024)
Created March 20, 2000, Updated October 12, 2021