The single-electron device (SED), which has quantum dot(s), or island(s) in its core, enables the control of electron motion on the level of an elementary charge. The single-electron pump and turnstile are members of the SED family and enable single-electron transfer synchronized with the gate clock. They have the potential for extremely low error rates of electron transfer and are thus expected to be building-block devices for future information processing and electrical metrology. We have been pursuing the fabrication of Si-based SEDs using CMOS technology with the help of electron-beam lithography and have recently demonstrated a Si single-electron pump and turnstile. They are composed of one Si quantum dot and two tiny MOS gates and have dramatically increased the operation temperatures, which opens up the possibility of the practical use of the pump and turnstile.
Another path to realizing single-electron transfer, which we will discuss here, might be to use a localized state in the Si bandgap instead of quantum dots. The localized states could in principle be donor/acceptor levels or any other states created by crystalline imperfections. They are free from the problem of the critical size control of the quantum dots, which might lead to a new era of single-electronics in combination with the rapidly developing research field of “dopant engineering”.