Print 11 comment(s) - last by AstroGuardian.. on May 25 at 4:11 AM

A seven atom transistor is contained within the quantum dot
No end to Moore's Law yet


The transistor is the foundation for the semiconductor industry and all of our modern electronic miracles. The ability to shrink transistors has led to cheaper and faster electronic devices, as well as solid state storage and digital photography.

Australian researchers have now created the world's smallest transistor, consisting of only seven atoms arranged into a single silicon crystal. It is fully functional and can regulate and control the flow of electrical current, despite being only 4nm across.

"The significance of this achievement is that we are not just moving atoms around or looking at them through a microscope," says Professor Michelle Simmons, a co-author of a paper on the subject that is being published by
Nature Nanotechnology. The paper is entitled "Spectroscopy of Few-Electron Single-Crystal Silicon Quantum Dots".

"We are manipulating individual atoms and placing them with atomic precision, in order to make a working electronic device," elaborated Simmons. "We have replaced just seven individual silicon atoms with phosphorus atoms. That is amazing exactness".

The research was primarily conducted at the University of New South Wales' Centre for Quantum Computer Technology (CQCT) in Sydney, with the assistance of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Simmons currently works as the Director of the CQCT.

The atoms were placed using a scanning tunneling microscope, which operates on the concept of quantum tunneling. Although it was first developed in 1981, it uses extremely challenging techniques that require highly clean and stable surfaces, exceptional vibration control, and sophisticated electronics. Simmons' team is now applying those techniques towards their first quantum computer.

Quantum computing is expected to be the next big scientific leap, and could revolutionize cryptography, weather forecasting, and nuclear modeling amongst other fields.


Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Good thing...
By MrBlastman on 5/24/2010 10:59:49 AM , Rating: 2
That they are using seven phosphorus atoms instead of four. Otherwise, they'd be dealing with white phosphorus (not to be confused with a white macbook, though some would argue it should be...) which is highly flammable at only 30 degrees celcius. ;)

RE: Good thing...
By ClownPuncher on 5/24/2010 3:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
I bet they never thought of that! You saved us all.

RE: Good thing...
By MrBlastman on 5/24/2010 4:52:23 PM , Rating: 2
Your sarcasm missed the joke of my post. Whooooooooooosh!

RE: Good thing...
By ClownPuncher on 5/24/2010 5:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly you are simply too clever.

Nice, when will it be at Best Buy?
By Phoque on 5/24/2010 12:04:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's nice to see 7 atom transistor working. But apart from scientific research applications, I am wondering if and when such feats could be done on a mass production scale. I won't hold my breath.

By muhahaaha on 5/24/2010 12:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
my understanding of the article is that this is a silicon crystal in which 7 Si atoms have been replaced by phosphorous atoms. The "transistor" is not just 7 atoms. Article states that the structure is 4nm, which is much larger than 7 atoms.

By Murloc on 5/24/2010 1:14:56 PM , Rating: 2
this is advanced research.
You will hear again about it in 10 years.

Wow, tiny transistor
By killerclick on 5/24/2010 8:36:20 PM , Rating: 3
But can these seven atoms play Crysis? Hahaha, I'm so funny, I crack me up!

RE: Wow, tiny transistor
By AstroGuardian on 5/25/2010 4:11:47 AM , Rating: 2
It could be that they are more THE Crysis than playing Crysis lol

Dr. Mephesto
By straycat74 on 5/24/2010 5:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
Already created a monkey with seven asses years ago. Why is this news?

RE: Dr. Mephesto
By AnotherGuy on 5/24/2010 6:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
like the black guy with the two a**holes

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki