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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.
Electronics From the Bottom Up: top-down/bottom-up views of length
0.0 out of 5 stars
17 Aug 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Muhammad A. Alam
When devices get small stochastic effects become important. Random
dopant effects lead to uncertainties in a MOSFET’s threshold voltage
and gate oxides breakdown is a random process. ...
The Nano-MOSFET: A brief introduction
17 Aug 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Mark Lundstrom
MOSFET channel lengths are now well below 100nm, and getting smaller,
but MOSFETs are still modeled and understood much as they were 30
years ago. Seminal work in the 1960’s laid the...
The Effect of Physical Geometry on the Frequency Response of Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistors
03 Aug 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Dave Lyzenga
In order for carbon nanotube (CNT) electrical devices to be fabricated, it is necessary to obtain modifiable operation characteristics. Developing parametric equations to achieve this...
Introduction to and Advances in Self-Healing Polymers
22 Jun 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Gerald O. Wilson
The presenter briefly introduces the topic of Self-Healing Polymer research and continues to give a Survey of Ruthenium Metathesis Catalysts for Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerization-Based...
Orbital Mediated Tunneling in a New Unimolecular Rectifier
22 Jun 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Robert Metzger, NCN SLC@Northwestern
In 1997 we showed that hexadecylquinolinium tricyanoquinodimethanide is a unimolecular rectifier, by scanning tunneling microscopy and also as a Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) monolayer, sandwiched...
Piezoelectric Transducers: Strain Sensing and Energy Harvesting (and Frequency Tuning)
15 Jun 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Toshikazu Nishida
Acoustic pressure or mechanical force sensing via piezoelectric
coupling is closely related to the harvesting of electrical energy
from acoustical and mechanical energy sources. In this...
Dripping, Jetting, Drops and Wetting: the Magic of Microfluidics
5.0 out of 5 stars
13 Jun 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): David A. Weitz
This talk will discuss some of the new opportunities
That arises by precisely controlling fluid flow and mixing using microfluidic
devices. I describe studies to elucidate mechanisms of drop...
SUGAR: the SPICE for MEMS
21 May 2007 | Online Presentations | 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...
Solid-State Lighting: An Opportunity for Nanotechnologists to Address the Energy Challenge
25 Apr 2007 | Online Presentations | 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...
BNC Annual Research Symposium: Nanoelectronics and Semiconductor Devices
23 Apr 2007 | Online Presentations | 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...
High-Aspect-Ratio Micromachining of Titanium: Enabling New Functionality and Opportunity in Micromechanical Systems Through Greater Materials Selection
09 Apr 2007 | Online Presentations | 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...
Atomistic Alloy Disorder in Nanostructures
4.5 out of 5 stars
26 Feb 2007 | Online Presentations | 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...
Surprises on the nanoscale: Plasmonic waves that travel backward and spin birefringence without magnetic fields
29 Jan 2007 | Online Presentations | 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...
RF MEMS: Passive Components and Architectures
08 Jan 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Dimitrios Peroulis
This seminar is an introduction to the MEMS technology as it
applies to RF and Microwave systems. Besides discussing several key RF
MEMS components (switches, varactors, inductors),...
Design in the Nanometer Regime: Process Variation
29 Nov 2006 | Online Presentations | 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....
Design of CMOS Circuits in the Nanometer Regime: Leakage Tolerance
28 Nov 2006 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Kaushik Roy
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...
MOSCNT: code for carbon nanotube transistor simulation
3.5 out of 5 stars
15 Nov 2006 | Downloads | Contributor(s): Siyu Koswatta, Jing Guo, Dmitri Nikonov
Ballistic transport in carbon nanotube metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (CNT-MOSFETs) is simulated using the Non-equilibrium Green’s function formalism. A cylindrical...
19 Oct 2006 | Online Presentations | 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...
28 Aug 2006 | 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
28 Aug 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....