Teaching Nanoelectronics in Graduate Level

The progress in electronics has been driven by miniaturization. But as electronic devices approach the molecular scale, classical models for device behavior must be abandoned. Though Silicon technology continues to progress, the device scaling is rapidly taking the metal oxide semiconductor Field Effect Transistors to its limit. This has posed many questions. The change in the resistance of a conductor as we shrink its length all the way down to a few atoms has paved the way to think more. This is a question that has intrigued scientists for a long time, but it is only during the last twenty years that it has become possible for experimentalists to provide clear answers, leading to enormous progress in our understanding. There is also great applied interest in this question at this time, since every computer we buy has about a billion transistors that rely on controlling the flow of electrons through a conductor a few hundred atoms in length.

To prepare for the next generation of electronic devices, the engineering and science students must be taught the theory of current, voltage and resistance from atoms up.

Most importantly, Foreign Universities have started focusing of teaching the fundamental physics and nanoelectronics to the undergraduate students knowing that there is a great demand for the research and the scientist to work in the field of nanoelectronics to prepare the components for the future nanotechnology applications.

To prepare for the next generation of electronic devices, the engineering and science students must be taught the theory of current, voltage and resistance from atoms up. The electrons at the nanoscale can be described with an introduction to the principles of quantum mechanics, including quantization, the wave-particle duality, wave functions and Schrödingers equation. Then the electronic properties of molecules, carbon nanotubes and crystals, including energy band formation and the origin of metals, insulators and semiconductors can be considered. The Electron conduction must be taught beginning with ballistic transport and concluding with a derivation of Ohms law. Then the characteristics can be compared with ballistic to bulk MOSFETs.

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The fundamental concepts in the field of Nano physics will lead to understanding of various technologies, structures and the components in the nano dimensions. Fortunately the nano science course is introduced in good number of Universities by the encouragement of Nano Mission project of the Indian Government through funding agencies. However the focus in the Master Degree level may not be sufficient to really compete with the advanced research centres outside India. This may be considered by every Universities to introduce the Nanaoelectronics course in the under graduate level for the science and engineering students so that they learn fundamentals during the beginning of the course of study and then they can contribute more during the post graduate studies which may lead to continue research in the future. The topics for the thorough understanding of nanoelectronics may include, quantum mechanics, nanophysics, nano devices including Quantum dots, FinFET, Nanowires, Carbon Nanotubes and modeling of such devices.

It is very clear that before the fabrication of any device, a thorough modeling has to be done so that the detailed characteristics can be obtained. Keeping this in view the focus on teaching Nanoelectronics course in the Undergraduate students will enhance the understanding and further it is expected to lead an innovative research in the future.

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