Summary of Activities/Interests
Research Interests: What are the ultimate limits for how small we can make computing devices? What fundamental constraints does physics impose, either in size, speed, or heat dissipation? For the past several years my group has been investigating these questions in the context of a new transistor-less paradigm known as Quantum-dot Cellular Automata (QCA). QCA was invented and developed here and is now the subject of research world-wide. QCA enables binary computing which can be scaled down to the single-molecule size scale. QCA has been explored in metal-dot, GaAs, Si, nanomagnetic, and molecular systems. This is a theoretical group, but we work closely with solid-state experimentalist, chemists, and computer scientists, examining the particular issues of each implementation, and the energetic, architectural, and thermodynamic considerations that apply to all implementations. Recent work has focused particularly on understanding single-molecule QCA behavior, and on the connection to broader questions in information theory and the thermodynamics of computation.
Courses: Quantum Mech for Elec Engr
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1984
Craig S. Lent received the bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He received his doctorate in solid state physics from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. His doctoral thesis concerned the explanation for the origin of RHEED oscillations during MBE growth of semiconductors. Philip Cohen and Alan Goldman were his doctoral advisors. Lent was a post-doctoral researcher with John Dow in the Physics Department at Notre Dame, working on the theory of deep-level defects in semiconductors. In 1986 he joined the Electrical Engineering Department at Notre Dame. He and colleague Wolfgang Porod arrived in the same year and begin to build the quantum devices group at the Notre Dame.