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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.
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24 Feb 2005 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Greg Snider
Nanoelectronic architectures at this point are necessarily speculative: We are still evaluating many different approaches to fabrication and are exploring unconventional devices made possible at...
Understanding Phonon Dynamics via 1D Atomic Chains
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04 Apr 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Timothy S Fisher
Phonons are the principal carriers of thermal energy in semiconductors and insulators, and they serve a vital role in dissipating heat produced by scattered electrons in semiconductor devices....
Three-Dimensional Simulations of Field Effect Sensors for DNA Detection
03 Aug 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Eddie Howell, Gerhard Klimeck
Here, the development of a DNA field-effect transistor (DNAFET) simulator is described. In DNAFETs the gate structure of a silicon on insulator (SOI) field-effect transistor is replaced by a layer...
Investigation of the Electrical Characteristics of Triple-Gate FinFETs and Silicon-Nanowire FETs
08 Aug 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Monica Taba, Gerhard Klimeck
Electrical characteristics of various Fin field-effect transistors (FinFETs) and silicon-nanowires were analyzed and compared using a modified three-dimensional self-consistent quantum-mechanical...
Chemical Modification of GaAs with TAT Peptide and Alkylthiol Self-Assembled Monolayers
03 Aug 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Hamsa Jaganathan
The use of self-assembled monolayers (SAM) on semiconductors creates a basis for the design and creation of bioelectronics, such as biosensors. The interface between the surface and an organic...
Technique for High Spatial Resolution, Focused Electrical Stimulation for Electrically Excitable Tissue
08 Aug 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Matteo Mannino
Cochlear implant devices have made use of electrode pulses as a method of nerve fiber stimulation since their early conception. Electrode stimulation is limiting in both quality and consistency,...
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06 Aug 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Margarita Shalaev
DNA is a relatively inexpensive and ubiquitous material that can be used as a scaffold for constructing nanowires. Our research focuses on the manufacturing of DNA-templated, magnetic nanowires....
Surface Analysis of Organic Monlayers Using FTIR and XPS
02 Aug 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Jamie Nipple, Michael Toole, David Janes
Current research concerning self-assembled monolayers (SAM) focuses on the fabrication of microelectronics utilizing a semiconductor/molecule/metal junction. This study seeks to investigate...
NEMO 3D: Intel optimizations and Multiple Quantum Dot Simulations
03 Aug 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Anish Dhanekula, Gerhard Klimeck
NEMO-3D is a nanoelectronic modeling tool that analyzes the electronic structure of nanoscopic devices. Nanoelectronic devices such as Quantum Dots (QDs) can contain millions of atoms,. Therefore,...
ECE 612 Introductory Lecture (Fall 06)
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08 Aug 2006 | Online Presentations | 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 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Timothy D. Sands
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...
Exploring Electron Transfer with Density Functional Theory
11 Jun 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Troy Van Voorhis
This talk will highlight several illustrative applications of constrained density functional
theory (DFT) to electron transfer dynamics in electronic materials. The kinetics of these
History of Semiconductor Engineering
28 Jun 2006 | Online Presentations | 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...
NanoMOS 3.0: First-Time User Guide
06 Jun 2006 | Online Presentations | 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...
Logic Devices and Circuits on Carbon Nanotubes
05 Apr 2006 | Online Presentations | 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...
Switching Energy in CMOS Logic: How far are we from physical limit?
24 Apr 2006 | Online Presentations | 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...
First Principles-Based Modeling of materials: Towards Computational Materials Design
20 Apr 2006 | Online Presentations | 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...
Nanoscale Transistors: Advanced VLSI Devices (Introductory Lecture)
20 Apr 2006 | Online Presentations | 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...