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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 Lecture 3: Elements of Quantum Mechanics
out of 5 stars
28 Jan 2009 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
Outline:Why do we need quantum physicsQuantum conceptsFormulation of quantum mechanicsConclusions
ECE 606 Lecture 2: Geometry of Periodic Crystals
Outline:Volume & surface issues for BCC, FCC, Cubic latticesImportant material systemsMiller indices ConclusionsHelpful software tool: Crystal Viewer in the ABACUS tool suite.
ECE 606 Lecture 1: Introduction
Outline:Course information Current flow in semiconductors Types of material systems Classification of crystals
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 7: Temperature Dependence of Carrier Concentrations
30 Dec 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 6: Doping, Fermi Level, Density of States
04 Dec 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop, Umair Irfan
Illinois ECE 440 Solid State Electronic Devices, Lecture 1 Introduction
26 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Eric Pop
Introduction to Solid State Electronic Devices
ECE 606 Lecture 32: MOS Electrostatics I
19 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
ECE 606 Lecture 26: Schottky Diode II
ECE 612 Lecture 20: Broad Overview of Reliability of Semiconductor MOSFET
14 Nov 2008 | | Contributor(s):: Muhammad A. Alam
Guest lecturer: Muhammad A. Alam.
ECE 606: Principles of Semiconductor Devices
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
This NCN theme seeks to extend the understanding and computational tools developed in the Nanoelectronics and NEMS themes and apply them to the development of devices for medicine and biology. ...