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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.
Dripping, Jetting, Drops and Wetting: the Magic of Microfluidics
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13 Jun 2007 | | Contributor(s):: David A. Weitz
This talk will discuss some of the new opportunities That arises by precisely controlling fluid flow and mixing using microfluidicdevices. I describe studies to elucidate mechanisms of drop formation and use these to create new fluid structures that are difficult to achieve with my other method....
SUGAR: the SPICE for MEMS
21 May 2007 | | Contributor(s):: Jason Clark
In this seminar, I present some design, modeling, and simulation features of a computer aided engineering tool for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) called SUGAR. For experimental verification, I use a microdevice that is difficult to simulate with conventional MEMS software. I show that the...
Solid-State Lighting: An Opportunity for Nanotechnologists to Address the Energy Challenge
25 Apr 2007 | | Contributor(s):: Timothy D. Sands
More than one-fifth of the electrical power consumed in the U.S. is used for general illumination. Much of this energy is wasted to heat filaments in incandescent lamps, a century-old technology with an efficiency of about 5%. Fluorescent lighting is more efficient, but problems of color quality,...
BNC Annual Research Symposium: Nanoelectronics and Semiconductor Devices
23 Apr 2007 | | Contributor(s):: David Janes
This presentation is part of a collection of presentations describing the projects, people, and capabilities enhanced by research performed in the Birck Center, and a look at plans for the upcoming year.
High-Aspect-Ratio Micromachining of Titanium: Enabling New Functionality and Opportunity in Micromechanical Systems Through Greater Materials Selection
09 Apr 2007 | | 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 silicon. While silicon has proven to be an excellent material for many of these applications, no...
Atomistic Alloy Disorder in Nanostructures
26 Feb 2007 | | Contributor(s):: Gerhard Klimeck
Electronic structure and quantum transport simulations are typically performed in perfectly ordered semiconductor structures. Bands and modes are defined resulting in quantized conduction and discrete states. But what if the material is fundamentally disordered? What if the disorder is at the...
Surprises on the nanoscale: Plasmonic waves that travel backward and spin birefringence without magnetic fields
08 Jan 2007 | | Contributor(s):: Daniel Neuhauser
As nanonphotonics and nanoelectronics are pushed down towards the molecular scale, interesting effects emerge. We discuss how birefringence (different propagation of two polarizations) is manifested and could be useful in the future for two systems: coherent plasmonic transport of near-field...
RF MEMS: Passive Components and Architectures
02 Jan 2007 | | Contributor(s):: Dimitrios Peroulis
This seminar is an introduction to the MEMS technology as itapplies to RF and Microwave systems. Besides discussing several key RFMEMS components (switches, varactors, inductors), reconfigurable circuitarchitectures will also be introduced. In addition, reliability and costconsiderations as...
Design in the Nanometer Regime: Process Variation
28 Nov 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Kaushik Roy
Scaling of technology over the last few decades has produced an exponential growth in computing power of integrated circuits and an unprecedented number of transistors integrated into a single. However, scaling is facing several problems — severe short channel effects, exponential increase in...
Design of CMOS Circuits in the Nanometer Regime: Leakage Tolerance
The scaling of technology has produced exponential growth in transistor development and computing power in the last few decades, but scaling still presents several challenges. These two lectures will cover device aware CMOS design to address power, reliability, and process variations in scaled...
28 Aug 2006 | | Contributor(s):: Mark Lundstrom
Semiconductor device technology has transformed our world with supercomputers, personal computers, cell phones, ipods, and much more that we now take for granted. Moore's Law, posited by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965, states that the number of transistors (the basic building blocks of...
24 Feb 2005 | | 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 the nano scale. This talk will start off with a review of some "classical" crossbar structures using...
Understanding Phonon Dynamics via 1D Atomic Chains
04 Apr 2006 | | 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. Despite the importance of phonons, rigorous understanding and inclusion of phonon dynamics in...
Three-Dimensional Simulations of Field Effect Sensors for DNA Detection
03 Aug 2006 | | 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 of immobilized single-stranded DNA molecules which act as surface probe molecules. When...
Investigation of the Electrical Characteristics of Triple-Gate FinFETs and Silicon-Nanowire FETs
08 Aug 2006 | | 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 simulator in order to investigate device performance. FinFETs have been proposed to fulfill the...
Chemical Modification of GaAs with TAT Peptide and Alkylthiol Self-Assembled Monolayers
03 Aug 2006 | | 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 monolayer can change significant electrical and physiochemical properties of a biological device....
Technique for High Spatial Resolution, Focused Electrical Stimulation for Electrically Excitable Tissue
08 Aug 2006 | | 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, and a new method is required if significant improvements to implant devices are to be made. By using a...
06 Aug 2006 | | 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. This is accomplished by synthesizing positively-charged metal nanoparticles that self-assemble along...
Surface Analysis of Organic Monlayers Using FTIR and XPS
02 Aug 2006 | | 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 various experimental techniques for creation of organic monolayers by surface analysis techniques including...
NEMO 3D: Intel optimizations and Multiple Quantum Dot Simulations
03 Aug 2006 | | 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, simulating their electronic structure, can take up to several days. In order to simulate and analyze...