ICREA Prof. Dr Clivia Sotomayor Torres, leader of the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group, has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant to head a five-year project in which the interconnect energy-consumption challenge using an innovative approach will be investigated. Named LEIT, from “Lossless information for emerging information technologies”, this project will develop structures that allow taking advantage of phonon properties to transmit information using small amounts of energy.
Phonons, which are quanta of lattice vibration, can be used as information carriers and their transmission requires only a fraction of a millielectronVolt (meV) of energy, which is very low compared to present systems using electrons and/or light as carriers. The drawback of this approach is that phonons suffer phonon-phonon scattering and losses in waveguides caused by interaction with lattice defects and other complex phenomena.
In the LEIT project, Prof. Sotomayor and her group will design novel crystal structures that, thanks to a unique combination of features, will permit phonon filtering, reflection and confinement, as well as transmission from one element to another. These phononic topological waveguides will be aimed at reducing losses and ensuring a longer phonon lifetime to transmit signals. The structures will be made from silicon (Si) and Si-compatible materials, also incorporating transition metal dichalcogenides, thus they can be easily integrated in current electronic circuitry.