Executive Summary
Executive Summary (pdf file)

DesCArtES---Distributed Center for Advanced Electronics Simulations

  • K. Hess and U. Ravaioli, University of Illinois
  • R.W. Dutton and Z. Yu, Stanford University
  • M.S. Lundstrom and S. Datta, Purdue University
  • D.K. Ferry, S.M. Goodnick, and D. Vasileska, Arizona State University
  • DesCArtES is an NSF-funded Distributed Center for Advanced Electronics Simulations consisting of teams at the University of Illinois, Stanford University, Purdue University, and Arizona State University. Its mission is to attack key research and educational challenges for electronic devices and materials by complementing theory and experiment with computation. The focus, engineering oriented but long term, is on collaborative theme projects addressing:
    1) atomic scale electronics,
    2) silicon technology beyond the roadmap, and
    3) optoelectronics.
    In addition to its core research efforts, DesCArtES provides outreach and leadership to the electronics research community through intellectual networking, network-based simulation and collaboration, and educational programs.

    A slowdown in the advance in electronic materials and devices is projected to occur in the next decade because of a variety of technical challenges. To surmount these barriers and devise new approaches for high-performance computing and network technologies, the electronics community must learn to work at the molecular and atomic scales. Doing so will help the community understand the effects of atomic scale structure and fluctuations on nanoscale devices as well as to enable the development of techniques for engineering devices, interfaces, contacts on an atomic scale. DesCArtES is leading this effort by developing and applying a new class of computational tools.

    The Center's research program is directed at understanding quantum and atomic scale processes as well as at relating computer models for such processes to the continuum and compact models used in the electronics industry. At the University of Illinois, researchers are using computation to explore the relation of atomic structure to the reliability of thin oxides. Advanced optoelectronic devices for ultra-high-speed fiber optic networks are also being examined by simulation. At Stanford University, semiconductor fabrication processes are being examined at a microscopic level. Continuum models that capture essential quantum and atomic scale features are also being developed. At Purdue University, techniques from quantum chemistry and molecular electronics are being adapted to examine the limits of nanotransistors. Classical transport in the near-ballistic regime is also being examined by full Boltzmann simulations. Researchers at Arizona State University are examining the role of discrete charge and many body effect in ultrasmall electronic devices.

    DesCArtES is co-directed by Professors Karl Hess of Illinois and Robert Dutton of Stanford. Professor Ravaioli oversees research liaison and outreach activities and Professor Lundstrom educational outreach. To complement its core activities, partnerships have been formed with industrial researchers at a number of companies including Lucent Bell Labs, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, and Raytheon. An industrial advisory board is also being formed to guide the Center. DesCArtES has strong ties to several centers and organizations including the National Computational Science Alliance (NCSA) for high-performance computing and the National Nanofabrication User's Network (NNUN) to connect with academic experimentalists. Collaborative projects are also underway with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the NASA Ames Research Center.

    Simply stated, the goal of the center is to lead the way in attacking fundamental roadblocks to progress in the electronics community. In addition to this research mission, DesCArtES has a strong educational, outreach, and intellectual networking mission. One example is the International Workshop on Computational Electronics founded by the Center's directors. More focussed meetings and workshops provide opportunities for smaller groups to meet, and short courses bring new methods and approaches to the community. The Center also serves as a testbed for developing and exploring the application of networked-based. A Computational Electronics "Hub" that makes advanced simulation tools available to experimentalists and students has been deployed. It already serves a world-wide user base. New technologies to facilitate problem solving, research collaboration and education are also being developed and explored.

    Author: Mark Lundstrom
    School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    1285 EE Building, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
    (765) 494-3515 // (765) 494-6441 (FAX)