Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Sanjukta Bhanja, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paris Wiley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wilfrido A. Moreno, Ph.D


Probabilisitic modelling, QCA, Bayesian networks, Quantum-dot cellular automata


The increasing need for low power and stunningly fast devices in Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Very large Scale Integration (CMOS VLSI) circuits, directs the stream towards scaling of the same. However scaling at sub-micro level and nano level pose quantum mechanical effects and thereby limits further scaling of CMOS circuits. Researchers look into new aspects in nano regime that could effectively resolve this quandary. One such technology that looks promising at nano-level is the quantum dot cellular automata (QCA). The basic operation of QCA is based on transfer of charge rather than the electrons itself. The wave nature of these electrons and their uncertainty in device operation demands a probabilistic approach to study their operation.

The data is assigned to a QCA cell by positioning two electrons into four quantum dots. However the site in which the electrons settles is uncertain and depends on various factors. In an ideal state, the electrons position themselves diagonal to each other, through columbic repulsion, to a low energy state. The quantum cell is said to be polarized to +1 or -1, based on the alignment of the electrons.

In this thesis, we put forth a probabilistic model to design sequential QCA in Bayesian networks. The timing constraints inherent in sequential circuits due to the feedback path, makes it difficult to assign clock zones in a way that the outputs arrive at the same time instant. Hence designing circuits that have many sequential elements is time consuming. The model presented in this paper is fast and could be used to design sequential QCA circuits without the need to align the clock zones. One of the major advantages of our model lies in its ability to accurately capture the polarization of each cell of the sequential QCA circuits.

We discuss the architecture of some of the basic sequential circuits such as J-K flip flop (FF), RAM memory cell and s27 benchmark circuit designed in QCADesigner. We analyze the circuits using a state-of-art Dynamic Bayesian Networks (DBN). To our knowledge this is the first time sequential circuits are analyzed using DBN. For the first time, Estimated Posterior Importance Sampling Algorithm (EPIS) is used to determine the probabilistic values, to study the effect due to variations in physical dimension and operating temperature on output polarization in QCA circuits.