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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.

Resources (1-20 of 301)

  1. [Illinois] Foundations of Nanoscience: Self-Assembled Architectures and Devices

    23 Oct 2015 | Workshops | Contributor(s): Alan Rowan, Erik Luijten, Mark Brongersma, Graham Johnson, Ayusman Sen, Michelle Khine, Erkang Wang, Michael Famulok, Milan Stojanovic

    This is a yearly conference on foundations of nanoscience, maintaining the highest scientific standards and providing many opportunities for discussion and informal exchange of information and...

  2. [Illinois] Device Applications of Metafilms and Metasurfaces

    23 Oct 2015 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Mark Brongersma

    Mark Brongersma is a Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. He received his PhD in Materials Science from the FOM Institute in Amsterdam, The...

  3. [Illinois] Atomic Engineering of III-V Semiconductor for Quantum Devices, from Deep UV (200 nm) to THZ (300 microns)

    03 Mar 2015 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Manijeh Razeghi

    Nature offers us different kinds of atoms. But it takes human intelligence to put different atoms together in an elegant way in order to realize manmade structures that is lacking in nature. This...

  4. [Illinois] BioEngineering Seminar Series: Implantable Networks of Wireless Nanoelectronic Devices

    04 Feb 2014 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Pedro Irazoqui

  5. Tunnel FETs - Device Physics and Realizations

    10 Jul 2013 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Joachim Knoch

    Here, the operating principles of TFETs will be discussed in detail and experimental realizations as well as simulation results will be presented. In particular, the role of the injecting source...

  6. Electron Phonon Interaction in Carbon Nanotube Devices

    28 Jun 2013 | Papers | Contributor(s): Sayed Hasan

    With the end of silicon technology scaling in sight, there has been a lot of interest in alternate novel channel materials and device geometry. Carbon nanotubes, the ultimate one-dimensional (1D)...

  7. Modeling Quantum Transport in Nanoscale Transistors

    28 Jun 2013 | Papers | Contributor(s): Ramesh Venugopal

    As critical transistor dimensions scale below the 100 nm (nanoscale) regime, quantum mechanical effects begin to manifest themselves and affect important device performance metrics. Therefore,...

  8. Introduction to Compact Models and Circuit Simulation

    19 Jun 2013 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Tianshi Wang, Jaijeet Roychowdhury

    The presentation is a gentle introduction to compact models, basic circuit simulation concepts, and flows for developing compact models. The roadmap for the NEEDS-SPICE platform, being developed...

  9. Guidelines for Writing NEEDS-certified Verilog-A Compact Models

    19 Jun 2013 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Tianshi Wang, Jaijeet Roychowdhury

    This talk contains a brief introduction to Verilog-A and suggests some initial guidelines for writing Verilog-A versions of NEEDS models. For more about the history of Verilog-A and additional...

  10. NEEDS Introduction

    19 Jun 2013 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Mark Lundstrom

    NEEDS is an initiative supported by the National Science Foundation and the Semiconductor Research Corporation with a mission to develop the critical missing link needed to transform...

  11. NEEDS Workshop on Compact Modeling

    19 Jun 2013 | Workshops | Contributor(s): Mark Lundstrom, Jaijeet Roychowdhury

    Advanced in research promise a new era of electronics – one that harnesses the capabilities of  novel  nano-­‐engineered  materials  and  devices  either ...

  12. Verilog-A: Present Status and Guidelines

    19 Jun 2013 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Geoffrey Coram

    Verilog-A is the standard language for compact model development and implementation. This talk provides some background on the rationale for and development of Verilog-A, summarizes the current...

  13. [Illinois] CNST 2012: Translational Research on Micro and Nanobionics Devices for Mobile and Social Sensing Applications

    02 Jun 2013 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Gang Logan Liu

  14. Analysis of DC Electrical Conductivity Models of Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composites with Potential Application to Nanometric Electronic Devices

    12 Mar 2013 | Papers | Contributor(s): Rafael Vargas-Bernal, Gabriel Herrera-Pérez, Ma. Elena Calixto-Olalde, Margarita Tecpoyotl-Torres

    The design of nanometric electronic devices requires novel materials for improving their electrical performance from stages of design until their fabrication. Until now, several DC electrical...

  15. ECE 695A Reliability Physics of Nanotransistors

    17 Jan 2013 | Courses | Contributor(s): Muhammad Alam

    This course will focus on the physics of reliability of small semiconductor devices. In traditional courses on device physics, the students learn how to compute current through a device when a...

  16. ECE 695A Lecture 1: Reliability of Nanoelectronic Devices

    11 Jan 2013 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Muhammad Alam

    Outline: Evolving Landscape of Electronics Performance, Variability, and Reliability Classification of Reliability Course Information Conclusions

  17. ECE 606 Lecture 27: Looking Back and Looking Forward

    20 Dec 2012 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Gerhard Klimeck

  18. ECE 606 Lecture 26: The Future of Computational Electronics

    20 Dec 2012 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Gerhard Klimeck

    Future Transistors and Single Atom Transistors; New Modeling Tools (NEMO); nanoHUB: Cloud Computing - Software as a Service

  19. ECE 606 Lecture 21: MOS Electrostatics

    26 Nov 2012 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Gerhard Klimeck

  20. ECE 606 Lecture 22: MOScap Frequence Response/MOSFET I-V Characteristics

    26 Nov 2012 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Gerhard Klimeck, a resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.