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From Lilienfeld to Landauer: Understanding the nanoscale transistor

By Mark Lundstrom

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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Semiconductor electronics has been on a remarkable ride, and it is far from over. Since Gordon Moore‘’s observation in 1965, progress in semiconductor technology has continued unabated, and the result has transformed the modern world. Microelectronics has become nanoelectonics, and the MOSFET has become the most ubiquitous device on the planet. My talk is about how we understand the physics of the transistor – from 5-micrometer channel length MOSFETs when I began my career as an MOS process engineer to the 5 nm channel lengths that we hope to manufacture in the not so distant future. The talk is organized around the so-called Virtual Source model of the MOSFET and will show how the traditional view of the MOSFET (which dates from the 1960’s) can be adapted to today’s nanoscale transistors in a physically insightful and simple way. The talk aims to show that understanding the MOSFET as the first truly significant nanoelectronic device is useful for advancing MOSFET technology, but more importantly, it also provides a paradigm for understanding nanoelectronic devices more generally. Today we can see the end of scaling. Students, faculty, and our colleagues in industry are asking: “What comes next?” No one has a crystal ball, but it seems certain to me that the next 50 years will be just as interesting and significant as the past 50. I’ll reflect on what the continued progress in electronics and the current convergence of knowledge and technologies from different disciplines means for the future of electronics and what it mean for the way we educate students and keep practicing engineers current.

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  • Mark Lundstrom (2013), "From Lilienfeld to Landauer: Understanding the nanoscale transistor,"

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EDS Mini-colloquium, Mexico City, Mexico



Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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