Applied Physics

Semiconductor Standards

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Science  10 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6095, pp. 625
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6095.625-c

Modern technology is dependent on components that perform as specified and often within extremely high tolerance. The specification of each component, whether it delivers a current, a voltage, or a resistance, is typically calibrated (although usually not directly) against a quantum standard that is dependent on only fundamental constants. These quantum standards are usually operated at a national laboratory. Secondary standards are then shipped out to factories where the components can be calibrated. Usually, each quantum standard is a separate device: superconductors for voltage and semiconductors for current and resistance. Hohls et al. demonstrate an integrated quantized circuit with which the so-called metrological triangle (V, I, and R) can be closed with a single semiconductor-based device. Using GaAs, they combined an integrated single-charge pump with a quantum Hall resistor to provide a quantized voltage source. Such a monolithic approach should be applicable to other materials, such as silicon or graphene, and could provide a platform for developing quantum standard devices on a single chip.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 056802 (2012).

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