The first few decades of the previous century have seen a revolution in the physical sciences due to the advent of quantum mechanics. Now, a hundred years later, quantum mechanics may drive a new revolution in technology. In fact, it is luckily as well as widely believed that next-generation electronic devices will exploit the quantum mechanical nature of electrons, as opposed to the classical operating principles of current CMOS electronics. Quantum spintronics aims at utilizing the quantum nature of individual spins to bring new functionalities into logic circuits. Up to now, experimental efforts have mainly focused on III-V semiconductors. In this system, however, strong electron spin decoherence was found due to the hyperfine coupling with the nuclear spins. In this project, we have focused on silicon-based nanodevices, which, besides an inherent compatibility with microelectronics technology, can be made immune to the hyperfine coupling problem. In addition, for the case of p-type devices, strong spin-orbit coupling can be expected opening an opportunity for the coherent electrical control of spin states.
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