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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.
ECE 612 Introductory Lecture (Fall 06)
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08 Aug 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Mark Lundstrom
ECE 612 Lecture 1: MOSFET Review
ECE 612 Lecture 3: 1D MOS Electrostatics
Nanotubes and Nanowires: One-dimensional Materials
17 Jul 2006 | | Contributor(s)::
What is a nanowire? What is a nanotube? Why are they interesting and what are their potential applications? How are they made? This presentation is intended to begin to answer these questions while introducing some fundamental concepts such as wave-particle duality, quantum confinement, the...
Exploring Electron Transfer with Density Functional Theory
11 Jun 2006 | | Contributor(s)::
This talk will highlight several illustrative applications of constrained density functionaltheory (DFT) to electron transfer dynamics in electronic materials. The kinetics of thesereactions are commonly expressed in terms of well known Marcus parameters (drivingforce, reorganization energy and...
History of Semiconductor Engineering
28 Jun 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Bo Lojek
When basic researchers started working on semiconductors during the late nineteen thirties and on integrated circuits at the end of the nineteen fifties, they did not know that their work would change the lives of future generations. Very few people at that time recognized the significance of...
NanoMOS 3.0: First-Time User Guide
06 Jun 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Kurtis Cantley, Mark Lundstrom
This tutorial is an introduction to the nanoMOS simulation tool for new users. Descriptions of input and output parameters are included, along with new features associated with the Rappture interface. There are also descriptions of nine examples that are loadable in the new version to help the...
Logic Devices and Circuits on Carbon Nanotubes
05 Apr 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Joerg Appenzeller
Over the last years carbon nanotubes (CNs) have attracted an increasing interest as building blocks for nano-electronics applications. Due to their unique properties enabling e.g. ballistic transport at room-temperature over several hundred nanometers, high performance CN field-effect...
Switching Energy in CMOS Logic: How far are we from physical limit?
24 Apr 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Saibal Mukhopadhyay
Aggressive scaling of CMOS devices in technology generation has resulted in exponential growth in device performance, integration density and computing power. However, the power dissipated by a silicon chip is also increasing in every generation and emerging as a major bottleneck to technology...
First Principles-Based Modeling of materials: Towards Computational Materials Design
20 Apr 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Alejandro Strachan
Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with accurate, first principles-based interatomic potentials is a powerful tool to uncover and characterize the molecular-level mechanisms that govern the chemical, mechanical and optical properties of materials. Such fundamental understanding is critical to...
Nanoscale Transistors: Advanced VLSI Devices (Introductory Lecture)
20 Apr 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Mark Lundstrom
Welcome to the ECE 612 Introductory/Overview lecture. This course examines the device physics of advanced transistors and the process, device, circuit, and systems considerations that enter into the development of new integrated circuit technologies.
EDA Challenges in Nanoscale Design: A Synopsys Perspective
11 Apr 2006 | | Contributor(s)::
Rich Goldman gives an overview of the current state ofthe semiconductor and EDA (Electronic Design Automation) industry with aspecial focus on the impact of nanometer scale design on design tools andthe economics of the industry.
The Long and Short of Pick-up Stick Transistors: A Promising Technology for Nano- and Macro-Electronics
11 Apr 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
In recent years, there has been enormous interest in the emerging field of large-area macro-electronics, and fabricating thin-film transistors on flexible substrates. This talk will cover recent work in developing a comprehensive theoretical framework to describe the performance of these...
Tutorial on Using Micelle-MD
05 Apr 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Patrick Chiu, Kunal Shah, Susan Sinnott
This is a tutorial using Micelle-MD. This includes the main capabilities, computation procedure, with format of files generated, and the simulation setup, which includes the material models implemented.
Mechanical Properties of Surfactant Aggregates at Water-Solid Interfaces
This is a talk on the mechanical properties of surfactant aggregates at water-solid interfaces using Micelle-MD. This includes silica indentations of micelles with comparison to experimental data and graphite indentation of Micelle.
Thermal Microsystems for On-Chip Thermal Engineering
04 Apr 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Suresh V. Garimella
Electro-thermal co-design at the micro- and nano-scales is critical for achieving desired performance and reliability in microelectronic circuits. Emerging thermal microsystems technologies for this application area are discussed, with specific examples including a novel micromechanical...
Electron and Ion Microscopies as Characterization Tools for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
27 Feb 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Stach
This tutorial presents a broad overview of the basic physical principles of techniques used in scanning electron microscopy (SEM), as well as their application to understanding processing/structure/property relationships in nanostructured materials. Special emphasis is placed on the capabilities...
Metal Oxide Nanowires: Synthesis, Characterization and Device Applications
07 Mar 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Jia Grace Lu
Various metal oxide nanowires, such as ZnO, SnO2, Fe2O3, In2O3 and Ga2O3, have been synthesized by chemical vapor deposition method. Their structures and properties are characterized by TEM, SEM, XRD, AFM, photoluminescence, photoconductance, scanning surface potential microscopy, and electrical...
Molecular Transport Structures: Elastic Scattering, Vibronic Effects and Beyond
13 Feb 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Mark Ratner, Abraham Nitzan,
Current experimental efforts are clarifying quite beautifully the nature of charge transport in so-called molecular junctions, in which a single molecule provides the channel for current flow between two electrodes. The theoretical modeling of such structures is challenging, because of the...
Making the Tiniest and Fastest Transistor using Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD)
13 Feb 2006 | | Contributor(s):: peide ye
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is an emerging nanotechnology enables the deposit of ultrathin films, one atomic layer by one atomic layer. ALD provides a powerful, new capability to grow or regrow nanoscale ultrathin films of metals, semiconductors and insulators. This presentation introduces ALD...