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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.
MOSFet Demonstration: MOSFET Device Simulation and Analysis
11 Jun 2009 | Animations | Contributor(s): Gerhard Klimeck, Benjamin P Haley
This video shows the simulation and analysis of a MOSFET device using the MOSFet tool. Several powerful analytic features of this tool are demonstrated.
PN Junction Lab Demonstration: Asymmetric PN Junctions
This video shows the simulation and analysis of a several PN junctions using PN Junction Lab, which is powered by PADRE. Several powerful analytic features of this tool are demonstrated.
OMEN Nanowire Demonstration: Nanowire Simulation and Analysis
This video shows the simulation and analysis of a nanowire using OMEN Nanowire. Several powerful analytic features of this tool are demonstrated.
Resonant Tunneling Diode Simulation with NEGF: First-Time User Guide
01 Jun 2009 | Teaching Materials | Contributor(s): Samarth Agarwal, Gerhard Klimeck
This first-time user guide for Resonant Tunneling Diode Simulation with NEGF provides some fundamental concepts regarding RTDs along with details on how device geometry and simulation parameters...
Piece-Wise Constant Potential Barriers Tool: First-Time User Guide
This supporting document for the Piece-Wise Constant Potential Barriers Tool serves as a first-time user guide. Some basic ideas about quantum mechanical tunneling are introduced in addition to...
ECE 606 Lecture 40: Looking Back and Looking Forward
30 Apr 2009 | Online Presentations
ECE 606 Lecture 36: MOSFET I-V Characteristics II
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28 Apr 2009 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Muhammad A. Alam
ECE 606 Lecture 37a: Nonideal Effects in MOSFET I
ECE 606 Lecture 37b: Nonideal Effects in MOSFET II
ECE 606 Lecture 39: Reliability of MOSFET
ECE 606 Lecture 33: MOS Electrostatics II
16 Apr 2009 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Muhammad A. Alam
ECE 606 Lecture 34: MOSCAP Frequency Response
ECE 606 Lecture 35: MOSFET I-V Characteristics I
ECE 606 Lecture 30: Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors I
04 Apr 2009 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Muhammad A. Alam
ECE 606 Lecture 31: Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors II
ECE 606 Lecture 29: BJT Design II
31 Mar 2009 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Muhammad A. Alam
ECE 606 Lecture 19: Numerical Solution of Transport Equation
29 Mar 2009 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Muhammad A. Alam
Basic Transport Equations
Gridding and finite differences
Discretizing equations and boundary conditions
Lundstrom, Mark, A Primer on Semiconductor Device Simulation,...
ECE 606 Lecture 28: BJT Design I
ECE 606 Lecture 27: Introduction to Bipolar Transistors