Article abstract

Nature Nanotechnology 4, 167 - 172 (2009)
Published online: 25 January 2009 | doi:10.1038/nnano.2008.415

Subject Categories: Computational nanotechnology | Electronic properties and devices | Surface patterning and imaging

Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas

Christopher R. Moon1, Laila S. Mattos1, Brian K. Foster2, Gabriel Zeltzer3 & Hari C. Manoharan1

The ability of the scanning tunnelling microscope to manipulate single atoms and molecules has allowed a single bit of information to be represented by a single atom or molecule. Although such information densities remain far beyond the reach of real-world devices, it has been assumed that the finite spacing between atoms in condensed-matter systems sets a rigid upper limit on information density. Here, we show that it is possible to exceed this limit with a holographic method that is based on electron wavefunctions rather than free-space optical waves. Scanning tunnelling microscopy and holograms comprised of individually manipulated molecules are used to create and detect electronically projected objects with features as small as ~0.3 nm, and to achieve information densities in excess of 20 bits nm−2. Our electronic quantum encoding scheme involves placing tens of bits of information into a single fermionic state.

  1. Department of Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA
  2. Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA
  3. Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

Correspondence to: Hari C. Manoharan1 e-mail:


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