2D materials for ultra-low-power data egress at 4K

Office of the Director of National Intelligence
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How to Apply

Create and release your Profile on Zintellect – Postdoctoral applicants must create an account and complete a profile in the on-line application system.  Please note: your resume/CV may not exceed 2 pages.

Complete your application – Enter the rest of the information required for the IC Postdoc Program Research Opportunity. The application itself contains detailed instructions for each one of these components: availability, citizenship, transcripts, dissertation abstract, publication and presentation plan, and information about your Research Advisor co-applicant.

Additional information about the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program is available on the program website located at:  https://orau.org/icpostdoc/

If you have questions, send an email to ICPostdoc@orau.org.   Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email. 

Application Deadline
3/12/2018 11:59:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

Research Topic Description, including Problem Statement:

Cryogenic logic based on superconducting circuits is a promising approach to next generation high performance computing.  A primary challenge to a future superconducting data processor is the availability of an energy-efficient high-data-rate interconnect between the superconducting chips at 4K and the room temperature control system.  The ideal data egress system would require dissipation of no more than a few tens of attojoules in the 4K environment to convert single flux quantum (SFQ) information into a form that can be transmitted to room temperature.  The superconducting system represents digital zeros and ones by either the absence or presence of a SFQ.  SFQ circuits produce voltage pulses that are about 1 mV tall and 2 picoseconds wide although this output can be conditioned to make it more suitable for photonic devices.  This topic seeks to investigate 2D materials at a fundamental physics level for their promise as energy-efficient high-data-rate electro-optic modulators or other manifestations of data egress devices from 4K.  Graphene, for example, has been explored for ultra-low-loss and high bandwidth modulation (e.g., [1]).  Newer 2D materials such as molybdenum ditelluride [2] and black phosphorous also show promise in the optical domain.  Some of these new 2D materials can be doped directly via electrostatic gating allowing p and n regimes to be created by control pulses, where needed.  Such unique properties of 2D materials may enable new functionality of data modulation and communication, especially at cold temperatures.

[1] Phare, Christopher T., Yoon-Ho Daniel Lee, Jaime Cardenas, and Michal Lipson, “Graphene electro-optic modulator with 30 GHz bandwidth”, Nature Photonics 9 (2015): 511.

[2] Ya-Qing Bie, et al., “A MoTe2-based light-emitting diode and photodetector for silicon photonic integrated circuits”, Nature Nanotechnology, doi: 10.1038/nnano.2017.209.


Example Approaches:

The aim of this research is to experimentally advance the understanding of 2D materials for applications in data communication, particularly energy efficient, high-data-rate communication from a 4K environment to room temperature. Proposals could focus on experimental aspects of 2D materials and their relevance to ultra-low-power data egress at 4K address and one or more of the following questions or goals:

  • Can 2D materials offer unique advantages to the creation of energy efficient and high-data-rate electro-optic modulators?

  • Can 2D be integrated with silicon photonics and superconducting circuits?

  • Does operation at 4K offer new properties which can be taken advantage of? Or, is there a no-go to 4K operation?

  • Is there a fundamental limit to the energy per bit in these systems?

  • Do any properties of novel 2D materials allow direct transduction of data from SFQ pulses to optical information without the need for pulse conditioning?

  • Besides electro-optic modulation, does the physics of a 2D material allow other novel forms of data egress?


Postdoc Eligibility

  • U.S. citizens only
  • Ph.D. in a relevant field must be completed before beginning the appointment and within five years of the application deadline
  • Proposal must be associated with an accredited U.S. university, college, or U.S. government laboratory
  • Eligible candidates may only receive one award from the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program.

Research Advisor Eligibility

  • Must be an employee of an accredited U.S. university, college or U.S. government laboratory
  • Are not required to be U.S. citizens
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (6 )
    • Computer Sciences (17 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (23 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Nanotechnology (1 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (36 )