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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.
ECE 606: Principles of Semiconductor Devices
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12 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
In the last 50 years, solid state devices like transistors have evolved from an interesting laboratory experiment to a technology with applications in all aspects of modern life. Making transistors is a complex process that requires unprecedented collaboration among material scientists, solid...
PRISM Seminar Series
05 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Jayathi Murthy, Alejandro Strachan
Welcome to the PRISM Seminar Series.PRIMS: NNSA Center for Prediction of Reliability, Integrity and Survivability of Microsystems, is a university center funded by the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) under their Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC)...
Lecture 1: Percolation in Electronic Devices
04 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
Even a casual review of modern electronics quickly convinces everyone that randomness of geometrical parameters must play a key role in understanding the transport properties. Despite the diversity of these phenomena however, the concepts percolation theory provides a broad theoretical framework...
From density functional theory to defect level in silicon: Does the “band gap problem” matter?
01 Oct 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Peter A. Schultz
Modeling the electrical effects of radiation damage in semiconductor devices requires a detailed description of the properties of point defects generated during and subsequent to irradiation. Such modeling requires physical parameters, such as defect electronic levels, to describe carrier...
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 3: Energy Bands, Carrier Statistics, Drift
19 Aug 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop
Discussion of scaleReview of atomic structureIntroduction to energy band model
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 4: Energy Bands, Carrier Statistics, Drift
Energy Bands and CarriersBand gaps (lattice and temperature dependence)Band curvatureCarrier effective mass
Illinois ECE 440: Solid State Electronic Devices
18 Aug 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop
The goals of this course are to give the student an understanding of the elements of semiconductor physics and principles of semiconductor devices that (a) constitute the foundation required for an electrical engineering major to take follow-on courses, and (b) represent the essential basic...
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 2: Crystal Lattices
14 Aug 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop
Crystal Lattices:Periodic arrangement of atomsRepeated unit cells (solid-state)Stuffing atoms into unit cellsDiamond (Si) and zinc blende (GaAs)crystal structuresCrystal planesCalculating densities
28 May 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Feifei Lian, Feifei Lian, Feifei Lian
This tool performs a self-consistent simulation of the current-voltage curve of a metallic single-wall carbon nanotube with Joule heating.
NCN Nano-Devices for Medicine and Biology: Tutorials
19 Jun 2008 |
From among the many tutorial lectures available on the nanoHUB, we list a few that convey new approaches to the development of new kinds of devices for applications in medicine and biology.
NCN Nano-Devices for Medicine and Biology: Research Seminars
Many research seminars are available on the nanoHUB. Listed below are a few that discuss new device possiblities.
NCN Nano-Devices for Medicine and Biology: Simulation Tools for Education
Many simulation tools are available on the nanoHUB. The tools have been well-tested and here include supporting materials so that they can be effectively used for education or intelligently used for research.
NCN Nano-Devices for Medicine and Biology: Simulation Tools for Research
Many simulation tools are available on the nanoHUB. The tools have been well-tested and here include supporting materials so that they can be effectively used for research. The research tools include a first time users guide and supporting publications and theses.
High-Aspect-Ratio Micromachining of Titanium: Enabling New Functionality and Opportunity in Micromechanical Systems Through Greater Materials Selection
18 Jun 2008 | | 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...
04 Jun 2008 | | 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 the basis for microelectronics, and silicon (Si) is the most widely-used semiconductor for...
Nanoscale Opto Thermo Electric Energy Conversion Devices
28 May 2008 | | 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 nanocomposites are developed where the heat and charge transport are modified at the atomic level....
30 Jan 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Kirk Bevan
Non-equilibrium Green's Function Density Functional Theory Simulator
Functionalized Nanomaterials at the Interface of Biology and Technology
24 Apr 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Dean Ho, National Center for Learning & Teaching in Nanosca
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 these materials as foundations for device fabrication across the spectrum of biology and technology....
Nanoelectronic Modeling: Multimillion Atom Simulations, Transport, and HPC Scaling to 23,000 Processors
07 Mar 2008 | | 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 structures the behavior of carriers and their interaction with their environment need to be fundamentally...
Quantum and Semi-classical Electrostatics Simulation of SOI Trigates
19 Feb 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Hyung-Seok Hahm, Andres Godoy
Generate quantum/semi-classical electrostatic simulation results for a simple Trigate structure