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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.
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 4: Energy Bands, Carrier Statistics, Drift
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19 Aug 2008 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Eric Pop
Energy Bands and Carriers Band gaps (lattice and temperature dependence) Band curvature Carrier effective mass University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ECE 440: Solid State Electronic Devices
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 2: Crystal Lattices
14 Aug 2008 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Eric Pop
Crystal Lattices: Periodic arrangement of atoms Repeated unit cells (solid-state) Stuffing atoms into unit cells Diamond (Si) and zinc blende (GaAs)crystal structures Crystal planes Calculating …
High-Aspect-Ratio Micromachining of Titanium: Enabling New Functionality and Opportunity in Micromechanical Systems Through Greater Materials Selection
18 Jun 2008 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Masa Rao
Traditionally, materials selection has been limited in high-aspect-ratio micromechanical applications, due primarily to the predominance of microfabrication processes and infrastructure dedicated to …
04 Jun 2008 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Ian Appelbaum
"Electronics" uses our ability to control electrons with electric fields via interaction with their fundamental charge. Because we can manipulate the electric fields within semiconductors, they are …
Nanoscale Opto Thermo Electric Energy Conversion Devices
28 May 2008 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Ali Shakouri
We review solid-state devices that allow direct conversion of heat into electricity. We describe fundamental and practical limits of conventional thermoelectric materials. Novel metal-semiconductor …
Functionalized Nanomaterials at the Interface of Biology and Technology
24 Apr 2008 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Dean Ho, NCLT administator
Nanomaterials, such as block copolymeric membranes and nanodiamonds, can be engineered for a broad range of applications in energy and medicine. This presentation will highlight the relevance of …
Nanoelectronic Modeling: Multimillion Atom Simulations, Transport, and HPC Scaling to 23,000 Processors
07 Mar 2008 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Gerhard Klimeck
Future field effect transistors will be on the same length scales as “esoteric” devices such as quantum dots, nanowires, ultra-scaled quantum wells, and resonant tunneling diodes. In those …
What Promises do Nanotubes and Nanowires Hold for Future Nanoelectronics Applications?
18 Feb 2008 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Joerg Appenzeller
Various low-dimensional materials are currently explored for future electronics applications. The common ground for all these structures is that the surface related impact can no longer be ignored …
TCAD Revisited, 2007: An Engineer’s Point of View
19 Dec 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Constantin Bulucea
This presentation was one of 13 presentations in the one-day forum, "Excellence in Computer Simulation," which brought together a broad set of experts to reflect on the future of computational …
MCW07 Impact of Porphyrin Functional Groups on InAs Gas Sensors
05 Nov 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Michael Garcia
Porphyrin molecules are often used for sensor engineering to improve sensitivity and selectivity to specific analytes. It is important to understand how the porphyrin HOMO-LUMO levels deplete …
Silicon Photonics: Opportunity Challenges and Recent Results
02 Nov 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Mario Paniccia
The silicon chip has been the mainstay of the electronics industry for the last 40 years and has revolutionized the way the world operates. Today a silicon chip the size of a fingernail contains …
Hexagonal Prism Blue Diode Laser Using Whispering Gallery Mode (WGM) Resonances
23 Oct 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Sangho Kim
Semiconductor lasers have many important applications, including communication technologies, optical storage, printing, and molecular detection. The range of applications could be broadened …
Introduction of MEMS Activity at Nano/Micro System Engineering Lab., Kyoto University
15 Sep 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Osamu Tabata
We are aiming at the realization of microsystems and nanosystems with novel and unique functions by integrating functional elements in different domains such as mechanics, electronics, chemistry, …
MCW07 Modeling Charging-based Switching in Molecular Transport Junctions
23 Aug 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Sina Yeganeh, Misha Galperin, Mark A. Ratner
We will discuss several proposed explanations for the switching and negative differential resistance behavior seen in some molecular junctions. It is shown that a proposed polaron model is …
Electronics From the Bottom Up: top-down/bottom-up views of length
17 Aug 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Muhammad A. Alam
When devices get small stochastic effects become important. Random dopant effects lead to uncertainties in a MOSFET’s threshold voltage and gate oxides breakdown is a random process. Even a …
The Nano-MOSFET: A brief introduction
17 Aug 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Mark Lundstrom
MOSFET channel lengths are now well below 100nm, and getting smaller, but MOSFETs are still modeled and understood much as they were 30 years ago. Seminal work in the 1960’s laid the …
The Effect of Physical Geometry on the Frequency Response of Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistors
03 Aug 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Dave Lyzenga
In order for carbon nanotube (CNT) electrical devices to be fabricated, it is necessary to obtain modifiable operation characteristics. Developing parametric equations to achieve this controllability …
Introduction to and Advances in Self-Healing Polymers
14 Jun 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Gerald O. Wilson
The presenter briefly introduces the topic of Self-Healing Polymer research and continues to give a Survey of Ruthenium Metathesis Catalysts for Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerization-Based …
Orbital Mediated Tunneling in a New Unimolecular Rectifier
25 May 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Robert Metzger, NCN SLC@Northwestern
In 1997 we showed that hexadecylquinolinium tricyanoquinodimethanide is a unimolecular rectifier, by scanning tunneling microscopy and also as a Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) monolayer, sandwiched between …
Piezoelectric Transducers: Strain Sensing and Energy Harvesting (and Frequency Tuning)
15 Jun 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Toshikazu Nishida
Acoustic pressure or mechanical force sensing via piezoelectric coupling is closely related to the harvesting of electrical energy from acoustical and mechanical energy sources. In this talk, …
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