Silicon, a mature platform for the semiconductor industry, has become a leading platform for future quantum technologies. As a high-purity material, it serves as a low-noise host for a variety of quantum defects. As a low-loss material, it is a desirable substrate and material platform for next generation quantum devices. However, the lack of piezoelectricity in silicon, due to its centro-symmetric structure, poses challenges for its electromechanical applications. For example, one common approach to realize electromechanics in silicon relies on hybrid integration with a different piezoelectric material, which often lead to additional losses. In this project, we aim to engineer strong piezoelectric response in silicon using the atomic coherence of acceptor dopants. With strong coupling to electric field and crystal strain, the dopants can both influence the performance of electromechanical devices and be deployed as atomic-scale piezoelectric transducers. As a first demonstration, we will probe the excess energy losses in microwave and acoustic resonators due to their piezoelectric coupling to dopants. This study will be an important step towards the development of controlled, large-scale piezoelectricity in silicon.
Project currently funded by: Federal