Co-Design and Integration of nano-sensors on CMOS
Maurice Garcia-Sciveres (PI)1 , Steve Holland1 , Mi-Young Im1 , Tevye Kuykendall1 , François Léonard2, Yuan Mei1 , Andrew Nonaka1 , Katerina Papadopoulou1, Archana Raja1, Ricardo Ruiz1, Grigory Tikhomirov3 , Zhi Yao1
1Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
2Sandia National Laboratory
3University of California, Berkeley

As traditional CMOS scaling offers diminishing gains in performance, alternative approaches, such as co-design and heterogeneous integration of low-dimensional (0D, 1D and 2D) materials, present new opportunities. In this proposal we will develop scalable integration of photon nano-sensors on a CMOS platform. This will be a multidisciplinary effort demanding a co-design approach for which we are uniquely positioned, due to our recent theoretical and experimental work, our teams expertise from nanoscience to IC design to device integration, and a combination of unique capabilities. The 3-year end-product will be a monolithic pixel image demonstrator sensor of modest size, plus a co-design framework that can be applied to other areas (such as chemical sensing or logic gates), and the necessary simulation tools and models for the nanomaterials used. The demonstrator will consist of a custom-designed, commercially fabricated integrated circuit, further processed at LBNL and Sandia to integrate nanomaterials in additional layers. The co-design process will optimize the design of all elements together from the start, rather than adding nano-materials to a finished IC. The novel materials are needed to enable new sensing capabilities that are not presently available. The integration of nano-devices with CMOS is challenging due to very different fabrication modalities and material compatibility issues. We will address the integration challenges with R&D on nanomaterial placement (including bio-inspired self-assembly using DNA), novel fabrication techniques for connections, and by augmenting IC design tool to include nano-material and interconnect models. We will iterate the co-design optimization with actual material, circuit, and interconnection properties in successive steps. Our target capabilities in every pixel are: single photon sensitivity with negligible background at non-cryogenic temperature (up to room temperature), fast response (picosecond scale), and wavelength information about every photon detected. The combination of these capabilities in the same device does not presently exist and breakthroughs in photon imaging devices have a broad impact on science across DOE. An ultimate photon imager that precisely maps intensity and spectrum down to single photon sensitivity would be transformative for cosmology, biological imaging, and quantum information science, and would open up a new measurement modality. While the demonstrator and co-design framework mark the culmination of our 3-year plan, our intermediate goals will represent significant stand-alone results. Full physical modeling of electrical signals in 0D, 1D and 2D nano-sensors, integrated with standard IC design simulation tools, will be of broad interest to any heterogeneous design effort involving CMOS. The scalable electrical interconnection of 0D, 1D and 2D devices to the underlying CMOS circuit should be broadly applicable to novel devices other than sensors.