Bandstructure in Nanoelectronics

By Gerhard Klimeck

Purdue University

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Electrical Engineering curricula typically only touch the bandstructure of solids early in the introduction of solid state devices. Critical parameters such as bandedges, effective masses, and degeneracies are extracted from the bandstructure; and, the atomistic details of the origin of the abstract band diagrams are typically deferred to the physics or material science department. However, device engineering and material science meet at the nanometer-scale. Device engineers have managed to create structures that have spatial variations on the atomic scale. From a materials point of view this corresponds to a new composite or heterostructure of finite extent. This presentation will highlight for nanoelectronic device examples how the effective mass approximation breaks down and why the quantum mechanical nature of the atomically resolved material needs to be included in the device modeling. Atomistic bandstructure effects in resonant tunneling diodes, ultra-scales Si slabs, Si nanowires, and alloyed quantum dots will be demonstrated in intuitive pictures. The presentation concludes with a brief overview of the empirical tight binding method that bridges the gap between material science, physics, and electrical engineering for the quantitative design and analysis of nanoelectronic devices.


Gerhard Klimeck is the Technical Director of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology at Purdue University and a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering since Dec. 2003. He was the Technical Group Supervisor at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His research interest is in the modeling of nanoelectronic devices, parallel cluster computing, and genetic algorithms. Gerhard developed the Nanoelectronic Modeling tool (NEMO 3-D) for multimillion atom simulations. Previously he was a member of technical staff at the Central Research Lab of Texas Instruments where he served as manager and principal architect of the Nanoelectronic Modeling (NEMO 1-D) program. Dr. Klimeck received his Ph.D. in 1994 from Purdue University and his German electrical engineering degree in 1990 from Ruhr-University Bochum. Dr. Klimeck's work is documented in over 130 peer-reviewed publications and over 200 conference presentations. He is a senior member of IEEE and member of APS, HKN and TBP. More information about his work can be found at


Further details and credits can be found at the NEMO 1-D home page and NEMO 3-D home page . Some of the simulations can be duplicated in the Bandstructure Lab.

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  • Gerhard Klimeck (2005), "Bandstructure in Nanoelectronics,"

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MSEE 239, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN