Scientists come up with a single-atom transistor that works

/ 5 years ago

Believe it or not, Moore’s law keeps on working, supporting this is the creation of a fully functional single-atom transistor by a team of scientists at the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication, at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

Described in a paper published by Nature, the scientist predict that the single-atom transistor will go on to become a critical building block of tomorrow’s high-performance computing devices.

In this case, a single-atom transistor is not a ‘word game’, it really is a single-atom; the active component of this transistor is a single phosphorous atom patterned between atomic-scale electrodes and control gates.

These types of transistors have already been attempted in the past, but they presented an error of about 10 nanometres in the positioning of the atom, which at this scale is big enough to affect functionality.

According to the group leader of the study, Professor Michelle Simmons, this is the first time that “anyone has shown control of a single atom in a substrate with this level of precise accuracy.”  The professor also added that “several groups have tried this, but if you want to make a practical computer in the long-term you need to be able to put lots of individual atoms in.”

Below is a video presentation by the group of scientists working on the project.

Source: TPU