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Scanning probe microscopy and nanoelectronics Group

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Nanoscience Centre  

New!!  Nanotechnology textbook

"Current at the Nanoscale- an introduction to nanoelectronics"
Colm Durkan

Current at the Nanoscale
I have recently written a textbook for Imperial College Press, aimed at the
final-year undergraduate to early postgraduate level.  This book is based on a course that I have given for over ten years to Cambridge Engineering undergraduates as well as to Engineering, Physics and Materials science postgraduates, so is somewhat interdisciplinary and is therefore accessible to those with a wide range of scientific and engineering backgrounds, and assumes very little prior knowledge.  The course has evolved with advances in Nanotechnology, and the book is aimed at providing the core details needed for anyone interested in working in Nanotechnology, with somewhat of an emphasis on nanoelectronics (although not exclusively so).  The book is also aimed at those wishing to learn more about how Quantum mechanics is actually applied to understanding simple systems without having to resort to overly complicated analysis, as well as those starting off in Scanning probe microscopy.  In short, it is the book that I wished I had as an undergraduate!

  • Macroscopic Current Flow
  • Quantum Current Flow
  • Mesoscopic Transport: Between the Nanoscale and the Macroscale
  • Scanning-Probe Multimeters
  • Electromigration: How Currents Move Atoms, and Implications for Nanoelectronics
  • Elements of Single-Electron and Molecular Electronics

Some key topics covered:
  • State of the art in electronics devices today - current trends, fundamental limitations for the future and the need for novel paradigms and new technologies
  • Where Ohm's law comes from - classical description & Quantum description
  • How electric current flows through nanometre structures ranging from band-engineered structures such as Quantum wells, to simple metal nanowires
  • The origins of electrical resistance - band structure & the quantum harmonic oscillator
  • The effect of surfaces: what they are, what they do and how to probe them
  • Scanning probe microscopy-basic principles
  • Molecular electronics, single-electron devices, self assembly

  • Sample chapters are available from the ICP site or from here

    A review of the book:

    “This book contains good technical depth and requires a basic understanding of quantum mechanics … The author gives clear and concise explanations, making it easier to understand the complex ideas being conveyed. As such, this would be an excellent postgraduate text for learning about quantum mechanics, scanning probe microscopy, and electron transport at nanoscale dimensions.”

    IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine

    If you would like to send me a review/post any comments on the book, please just contact me!


    Colm Durkan, University of Cambridge Engineering Department and Nanoscience centre, , 11 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0FF, UK
    Last updated December 2009.