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On June 30, 1948, AT&T Bell Labs unveiled the transitor to the world, creating a spark of explosive economic growth that would lead into the Information Age. William Shockley led a team of researchers, including Walter Brattain and John Bardeen, who invented the device. Like the existing triode vacuum tube device, the transistor could amplify signals and switch currents on and off, but the transistor was smaller, cheaper, and more efficient. Moreover, it could be integrated with millions of other transistors onto a single chip, creating the integrated circuit at the heart of modern computers.
Today, most transistors are being manufactured with a minimum feature size of 60-90nm--roughly 200-300 atoms. As the push continues to make devices even smaller, researchers must account for quantum mechanical effects in the device behavior. With fewer and fewer atoms, the positions of impurities and other irregularities begin to matter, and device reliability becomes an issue. So rather than shrink existing devices, many researchers are working on entirely new devices, based on carbon nanotubes, spintronics,
molecular conduction, and other nanotechnologies.
Learn more about transistors from the many resources on this site, listed below. Use our simulation tools to simulate performance characteristics for your own devices.
Colloquium on Graphene Physics and Devices
22 Sep 2009 | | Contributor(s):: Joerg Appenzeller, Supriyo Datta, Mark Lundstrom
This short course introduces students to graphene as a fascinating research topic as well as to develop their skill in problem solving using the tools and techniques of electronics from the bottom up.
Device Characterization with the Keithley 4200-SCS
20 Jan 2011 | | Contributor(s):: Lee Stauffer
This training session is based on the Keithley 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System. It is intended for beginning to intermediate users. It covers basic concepts, both of the instrument, as well as general measurement considerations.
ECE 606 Solid State Devices
10 Oct 2012 | | Contributor(s):: Gerhard Klimeck
ECE 606: Principles of Semiconductor Devices
out of 5 stars
12 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
In the last 50 years, solid state devices like transistors have evolved from an interesting laboratory experiment to a technology with applications in all aspects of modern life. Making transistors is a complex process that requires unprecedented collaboration among material scientists, solid...
ECE 612 Nanoscale Transistors (Fall 2006)
08 Aug 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Mark Lundstrom
Additional material related to the topics discussed in this course course is available at https://nanohub.org/courses/NTNanoscale Transistors is a five-week online course that develops a unified framework for understanding essential physics of nanoscale transistors, their important...
ECE 695A Reliability Physics of Nanotransistors
17 Jan 2013 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad Alam
This course will focus on the physics of reliability of small semiconductor devices. In traditional courses on device physics, the students learn how to compute current through a device when a voltage is applied.
Illinois ABE 446: Biological Nanoengineering
29 Jan 2010 | | Contributor(s):: Kaustubh Bhalerao
Nanodevice design through organization of functional biological components; bio-molecular function and bioconjugation techniques in nanotechnology; modulation of biological systems using nanotechnology; issues related to applying biological nanotechnology in food energy, health, and the environment.
Illinois ECE 440: Solid State Electronic Devices
18 Aug 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop
The goals of this course are to give the student an understanding of the elements of semiconductor physics and principles of semiconductor devices that (a) constitute the foundation required for an electrical engineering major to take follow-on courses, and (b) represent the essential basic...
Illinois ECE 440: Solid State Electronic Devices Homework Assignments (Fall 2009)
28 Jan 2010 | | Contributor(s):: Mohamed Mohamed
Homework assignments for the Fall 2009 teaching of Illinois ECE 440: Solid State Electronic Devices.
Nanoelectronic Devices, With an Introduction to Spintronics
09 Sep 2010 | | Contributor(s):: Supriyo Datta, Mark Lundstrom
Nanoelectronic devices are at the heart of today's powerful computers and are also of great interest for many emerging applications including energy conversion, sensing and alternative computing paradigms. Our objective, however, is not to discuss specific devices or applications....
Nanoelectronic Modeling: From Quantum Mechanics and Atoms to Realistic Devices
25 Jan 2010 | | Contributor(s):: Gerhard Klimeck
The goal of this series of lectures is to explain the critical concepts in the understanding of the state-of-the-art modeling of nanoelectronic devices such as resonant tunneling diodes, quantum wells, quantum dots, nanowires, and ultra-scaled transistors. Three fundamental concepts critical to...
Nanostructured Electronic Devices: Percolation and Reliability
17 Sep 2009 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
In this series of lectures introduces a simple theoretical framework for treating randomness and variability in emerging nanostructured electronic devices for wide ranging applications – all within an unified framework of spatial and temporal percolation. The problems considered involve...
Reliability Physics of Nanoscale Transistors
27 Nov 2007 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
This course is now offered on nanoHUB as ECE 695A Reliability Physics of Nanotransistors.
[Illinois] ECE 398: Electronic and Photonic Devices
07 Feb 2011 | | Contributor(s):: Kent D Choquette
Fall Semester, 2010A first course on active and passive photonic devices and applications. Optical processes in dielectric and semiconductor materials discussed including waveguide propagation, confinement, electrical junctions, and emission/absorption. Active and passive photonic components such...