The Semiconductor Research Corporation and the National Science Foundation have awarded $2 million in grants for nanoelectronics research at six NSF affiliated research centers.

The research is to focus on a replacement for existing semiconductor structure called the Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor (CMOS FET). CMOS is part of practically every electronic device from handheld devices to mainframe computers.

“Without a breakthrough, the phenomenal advances in semiconductor capabilities will slow drastically as we reach the fundamental limits of current technology in the next decade or so,” said Jeff Welser, director of the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative, a research entity of SRC. “The IT economy has enjoyed unprecedented growth during the microelectronics era of the past half-century. The government and universities have quickly supported the NRI program in order to pursue discovery of the next logic switch and continued leadership in the new nanoelectronics era.”

The SRC, which is based in RTP, is funded in part by the private sector.

The grants, with information as provided by the SRC, went to:

• Center for Nanoscale Systems in Information Technologies, a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. Robert Buhrman at Cornell University, with project team led by Dr. Edwin Kan

• Network for Computational Nanotechnology, directed by Dr. Mark Lundstrom at Purdue University, working with Dr. Supriyo Datta, Dr. M. Ashraf Alam, Dr. Kaushik Roy, and Dr. Gerhard Klimeck

• Center for Nanoscopic Materials Design, a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. Robert Hull at the University of Virginia, working with Dr. Stuart Wolf and Dr. Jerry Floro at the University of Virgina, and Dr. David Awschalom at the University of California at Santa Barbara

• Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. Ellen Williams at the University of Maryland, with project team led by Dr. Sankar DasSarma at the University of Maryland and Dr. Allan MacDonald at the University of Texas at Austin

• Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena, a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. John Tully at Yale University, with project team led by Dr. Charles Ahn

• Quantum and Spin Phenomena in Nanomagnetic Structures, a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, directed by Dr. David Sellmyer at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, working with Dr. Evgeny Tsymbal and Dr. Kirill Belashchenko at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and Dr. Renat Sabirianov at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Private companies participating in the project include Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Intel, Micron technology, and Texas Instruments.