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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.
Active Photonic Nanomaterials: From Random to Periodic Structures
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06 Feb 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Hui Cao
Active photonic nanomaterials, which have high gain or large nonlinearity, are essential to the development of nanophotonic devices and circuits. In this talk, I will provide a review of our recent research activities related to the fabrication of active photonic nanomaterials and the...
A Primer on Semiconductor Device Simulation
23 Jan 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Mark Lundstrom
Computer simulation is now an essential tool for the research and development of semiconductor processes and devices, but to use a simulation tool intelligently, one must know what's "under the hood." This talk is a tutorial introduction designed for someone using semiconductor device simulation...
Nano-Scale Device Simulations Using PROPHET-Part II: PDE Systems
20 Jan 2006 | | Contributor(s):: yang liu,
Part II uses examples toillustrate how to build user-defined PDE systems in PROPHET.
Nano-Scale Device Simulations Using PROPHET-Part I: Basics
Part I covers the basics of PROPHET,including the set-up of simulation structures and parameters based onpre-defined PDE systems.
Nano-Scale Device Simulations Using PROPHET
These two lectures are aimed to give a practical guide to the use of ageneral device simulator (PROPHET) available on nanoHUB. PROPHETis a partial differential equation (PDE) solver that offers usersthe flexibility of integrating new models and equations for theirnano-device simulations. The...
Optimization of Transistor Design for Carbon Nanotubes
20 Jan 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Jing Guo
We have developed a self-consistent atomistic simulator for CNTFETs.Using the simulator, we show that a recently reported high-performanceCNTFET delivers a near ballistic on-current. The off-state, however, issignificantly degraded because the CNTFET operates like anon-conventional Schottky...
Quantum Corrections for Monte Carlo Simulation
05 Jan 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Umberto Ravaioli
Size quantization is an important effect in modern scaled devices. Due to the cost and limitations of available full quantum approaches, it is appealing to extend semi-classical simulators by adding corrections for size quantization. Monte Carlo particle simulators are good candidates, because a...
Designing Nanocomposite Materials for Solid-State Energy Conversion
10 Nov 2005 | | Contributor(s)::
New materials will be necessary to break through today's performance envelopes for solid-state energy conversion devices ranging from LED-based solid-state white lamps to thermoelectric devices for solid-state refrigeration and electric power generation. The combination of recent materials...
Atomic Force Microscopy
01 Dec 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Arvind Raman
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is an indispensible tool in nano science for the fabrication, metrology, manipulation, and property characterization of nanostructures. This tutorial reviews some of the physics of the interaction forces between the nanoscale tip and sample, the dynamics of the...
First Principles-based Atomistic and Mesoscale Modeling of Materials
01 Dec 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Alejandro Strachan
This tutorial will describe some of the most powerful and widely used techniques for materials modeling including i) first principles quantum mechanics (QM), ii) large-scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and iii) mesoscale modeling, together with the strategies to bridge between them....
Designing Nanocomposite Thermoelectric Materials
08 Nov 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Timothy D. Sands
This tutorial reviews recent strategies for designing high-ZT nanostructured materials, including superlattices, embedded quantum dots, and nanowire composites. The tutorial highlights the challenges inherent to coupled electronic and thermal transport properties.
Bandstructure in Nanoelectronics
01 Nov 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Gerhard Klimeck
This presentation will highlight, for nanoelectronic device examples, how the effective mass approximation breaks down and why the quantum mechanical nature of the atomically resolved material needs to be included in the device modeling. Atomistic bandstructure effects in resonant tunneling...
An Electrical Engineering Perspective on Molecular Electronics
26 Oct 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Mark Lundstrom
After forty years of advances in integrated circuit technology, microelectronics is undergoing a transformation to nanoelectronics. Modern day MOSFETs now have channel lengths that are less than 50 nm long, and billion transistor logic chips have arrived. Moore's Law continues, but the end of...
Wireless Integrated MicroSystems (WIMS): Coming Revolution in the Gathering of Information
01 Sep 2005 | | Contributor(s)::
Wireless integrated microsystems promise to become pervasive during the coming decade in applications ranging from health care and environmental monitoring to homeland security. Merging low-power embedded computing, wireless interfaces, and wafer-level packaging with microelectromechanical...
Simple Theory of the Ballistic MOSFET
11 Oct 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Mark Lundstrom
Silicon nanoelectronics has become silicon nanoelectronics, but we still analyze, design, and think about MOSFETs in more or less in the same way that we did 30 years ago. In this talk, I will describe a simple analysis of the ballistic MOSFET. No MOSFET is truly ballistic, but approaching this...
Laser Cooling of Solids
06 Oct 2005 | | Contributor(s)::
Enhanced laser cooling of ion doped nanocrystalline powders (e.g., Yb3+: Y2O3) can be achieved by enhancing the anti-Stokes, off-resonance absorption, which is proportional to the three design-controlled factors, namely, dopant concentration, pumping field energy, and anti-Stokes transition...
Semiconductor Interfaces at the Nanoscale
17 Oct 2005 | | Contributor(s):: David Janes
The trend in downscaling of electronic devices and the need to add functionalities such as sensing and nonvolatile memory to existing circuitry dictate that new approaches be developed for device structures and fabrication technologies. Various device technologies are being investigated,...
Plasmonic Nanophotonics: Coupling Light to Nanostructure via Plasmons
03 Oct 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Vladimir M. Shalaev
The photon is the ultimate unit of information because it packages data in a signal of zero mass and has unmatched speed. The power of light is driving the photonicrevolution, and information technologies, which were formerly entirely electronic, are increasingly enlisting light to communicate...
On the Reliability of Micro-Electronic Devices: An Introductory Lecture on Negative Bias Temperature Instability
28 Sep 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
In 1930s Bell Labs scientists chose to focus on Siand Ge, rather than better known semiconductors like Ag2S and Cu2S, mostly because of their reliable performance. Their choice was rewarded with the invention of bipolar transistors several years later. In 1960s, scientists at Fairchild worked...
Modeling and Simulation of Sub-Micron Thermal Transport
26 Sep 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Jayathi Murthy
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in understanding thermal phenomena at the sub-micron scale. Applications include the thermal performance of microelectronic devices, thermo-electric energy conversion, ultra-fast laser machining and many others. It is now accepted that...