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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.
2010 NCN Annual Review S13: External Education - Cal Poly Pomona
16 Jun 2010 | | Contributor(s):: Tanya Faltens
A Primer on Semiconductor Device Simulation
out of 5 stars
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...
Active Photonic Nanomaterials: From Random to Periodic Structures
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 development...
All-Spin Logic Devices
08 Feb 2010 | | Contributor(s):: Behtash Behinaein
We propose a spintronic device that uses spin at every stage of its operation: input and output information are represented by the magnetization of nanomagnets which communicate through spin-coherent channels. Based on simulations with an experimentally benchmarked model we argue that the device...
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...
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...
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...
Atomistic Modeling and Simulation Tools for Nanoelectronics and their Deployment on nanoHUB.org
16 Dec 2010 | | Contributor(s):: Gerhard Klimeck
At the nanometer scale the concepts of device and material meet and a new device is a new material and vice versa. While atomistic device representations are novel to device physicists, the semiconductor materials modeling community usually treats infinitely periodic structures. Two electronic...
Auger Generation as an Intrinsic Limit to Tunneling Field-Effect Transistor Performance
22 Sep 2016 | | Contributor(s):: Jamie Teherani
Many in the microelectronics field view tunneling field-effect transistors (TFETs) as society’s best hope for achieving a > 10× power reduction for electronic devices; however, despite a decade of considerable worldwide research, experimental TFET results have significantly...
Bandstructure Effects in Nano Devices With NEMO: from Basic Physics to Real Devices and to Global Impact on nanoHUB.org
08 Mar 2019 | | Contributor(s):: Gerhard Klimeck
This presentation will intuitively describe how bandstructure is modified at the nanometer scale and what some of the consequences are on the device performance.
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...
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.
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....
Chemically Enhanced Carbon-Based Nanomaterials and Devices
25 Oct 2010 | | Contributor(s):: Mark Hersam
Carbon-based nanomaterials have attracted significant attention due to their potential to enable and/or improve applications such as transistors, transparent conductors, solar cells, batteries, and biosensors. This talk will delineate chemical strategies for enhancing the electronic and optical...
Control of Spin Precession in a Datta-Das Transistor Structure
19 Dec 2009 | | Contributor(s):: Hyun Cheol Koo
Transistors Switch onto Spin Using the spin of an electron in addition to, or instead of, the charge properties is believed to have many benefits in terms of speed, power-cost, and integration density over conventional electronic circuits. At the heart of the field of spintronics has been a...
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...
Designing Nanocomposite Materials for Solid-State Energy Conversion
10 Nov 2005 | | Contributor(s):: Timothy D. Sands
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...
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.
Discussion Session 2 (Lectures 3 and 4)
08 Sep 2010 | | Contributor(s):: Supriyo Datta