Tunneling Transistors Creep Near, Could Replace MOSFETs
January 31, 2013 7:10 PM
comment(s) - last by
Long-standing device gets a nanotechnology boost
It's taking a dive into
, but the III-V tunneling field effect transistor (TFET) is finally creeping close to the widely used metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET).
III-V TFETs are a three terminal extension of the tunneling diode, a device invented in 1957, which earned inventor Leo Esaki a Nobel Prize in Physics. Nicknamed the "Esaki transistor/diode" in his honor, the device went largely overlooked due to low driving currents in most applicable materials.
But a team led by electrical engineering professor
Rochester Institute of Technology
(RIT) has tuned the transistors to approach MOSFET performance. A key to the tuning was the work of graduate researcher David Pawlik who grew sub-120 nanometer vertical TFETs on a test chip that allow hundreds of diodes to be tested per sample. The research allowed multiple kinds of homojunction and heterojunctions to be tested.
Working with fellow graduate researchers Brian Romanczyk and Paul Thomas, as well as collaborators at
(a non-profit research consortium backed by top chipmakers) and
Texas State University
, the team recorded a record peak current density of 2.2 MA/cm^2.
The benefit of the III-V TFET is that they operate at a much lower voltage than MOSFETs and thus consume less watts of power. The record setting design ran at -0.3 V.
As its name implies, a tunneling FET is similar voltage wise to driving through a hill, instead of down one, says Professor Rommel. [Image Source: NCWpics]
Professor Rommel likens the traditional MOSFET to driving down a hill, voltage-wise, while the TFET, driven by quantum effects, is more like digging a tunnel through the hill. He
on the record current levels, "The tunneling field effect transistors have not yet demonstrated a sufficiently large drive current to make it a practical replacement for current transistor technology, but this work conclusively established the largest tunneling current ever experimentally demonstrated, answering a key question about the viability of tunneling field effect transistor technology."
He suggests in the paper that a peak current of 10 MA/cm^2 should be possible with high levels of doping in
The results could be applied in everything from smartphones to solar cells. Professor Rommel suggests tuned TFETs could reduce processor power consumption by a factor of 10, allowing longer battery life for phones and other devices.
The work was presented at a December at the
International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM)
in San Francisco, Calif. The work was funded by
The National Science Foundation
(NSF), SEMATECH, and RIT's Office of the Vice President of Research.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: longer battery life...
2/1/2013 5:36:15 AM
Some batteries already caught fire when the producers tried to make them too small and too cheap. Invariably, if you increase energy density significantly below current batteries, you are basically producing tiny bombs.
RE: longer battery life...
2/1/2013 2:30:28 PM
C4 also has an extremely high energy density, but it's difficult to set off (you can burn it in a campfire, safely). In short: not even bombs are necessarily bombs without the proper stimuli.
Building high energy density and safety into the same device is not impossible - just difficult (and more so for batteries, of course).
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Scientists Cook Up 1-Atom Transistor, 12-Atom Magnetic Storage
February 20, 2012, 7:20 PM
Researchers Discover New Silicon Alternative
November 23, 2010, 10:53 AM
Quick Note: Pebble, Pebble Steel Smartwatches Reduced to $99, $199 Respectively
September 30, 2014, 3:59 PM
Report: Microsoft Lumia 830 Headed to AT&T on November 7
September 30, 2014, 12:51 PM
Update: Samsung Responds to Reports of Screen Gaps on Galaxy Note 4
September 30, 2014, 11:02 AM
Apple to Begin iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Sales in China October 17
September 30, 2014, 9:55 AM
eBay to Spin Off PayPal Business Next Year
September 30, 2014, 7:28 AM
HP Adds $99 Windows Tablet, $199 Windows Notebook to Stream Family
September 29, 2014, 7:17 PM
Most Popular Articles
Appalling Negligence: Decade-Old Windows XPe Holes Led to Home Depot Hack
September 8, 2014, 8:58 PM
iBend: Reports Grow of Razor-Thin iPhone 6+ Folding Like Origami in Your Pocket
September 23, 2014, 6:08 PM
New AT&T Mobile Share Value "Double Data" Promotion Lasts Through October
September 28, 2014, 8:32 AM
Update: Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2 Update to Make Up for Botched 8.0.1 Release
September 25, 2014, 8:19 PM
TiVo Mega Features 24TB of Storage, Can Record Three Years* Worth of TV Content
September 8, 2014, 8:45 AM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information