Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Sanjukta Bhanja, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Shekar Bhansali, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sudeep Sarkar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rudy Schlaf, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Aaron Stein, Ph.D.

Keywords

Magnetic Cellular Automata, Quantum Cellular Automata, Nano-Fabrication, Magnetic Force Microscopy, Micromagnetics

Abstract

The following dissertation addresses the study of nano-magnetic devices configured to produce logic machines through magnetostatic coupling interactions.

The ability for single domain magnets to reliably couple through magnetostatic interactions is essential to the proper functionality of Magnetic Cellular Automata (MCA) devices (p. 36). It was significant to explore how fabrication defects affected the coupling reliability of MCA architectures. Both ferromagnetic and anti-ferromagnetic coupling architectures were found to be robust to common fabrication defects. Experiments also verified the functionality of the previously reported MCA majority gate [1] and a novel implementation of a ferromagnetic MCA majority gate is reported.

From these results, the study of clocking Magnetic Cellular Automata (MCA) interconnect architectures was investigated (p. 54). The wire architectures were saturated under distinct directions of an external magnetic field. The experimental results suggested ferromagnetic coupled wires were able to mitigate magnetic frustrations better than anti-ferromagnetic coupled wires. Simulations were also implemented supporting the experimental results. Ferromagnetic wires were found to operate more reliably and will likely be the primary interconnects for MCA.

The first design and implementation of a coplanar cross wire system for MCA was constructed which consisted of orthogonal ferromagnetic coupled wires (p. 68). Simulations were implemented of a simple crossing wire junction to analyze micro-magnetic dynamics, data propagation, and associated energy states. Furthermore, two systems were physically realized; the first system consisted of two coplanar crossing

wires and the second was a more complex system consisting of over 120 nano-magnetic cells. By demonstrating the combination of all the possible logic states of the first system and the low ground state achieved by the second system, the data suggested coplanar cross wire systems would indeed be a viable architecture in MCA technology.

Finally, ongoing research of an unconventional method for image processing using nano-magnetic field-based computation is presented (p. 79). In magnetic field-based computing (MFC), nano-disks were mapped to low level segments of an image, and the magnetostatic coupling of magnetic dipole moments was directly related to the saliency of a low level segment for grouping. A proof of concept model for two MFC systems was implemented. Details such as the importance of fabricating circular nano-magnetic cells to mitigate shape anisotropy, experimental coupling analysis via Magnetic Force Microscopy, and current results from a complex MFC system is outlined.

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