One and done: Single-atom transistor is end of Moore's Law; may be beginning of quantum computing

The smallest transistor ever built - in fact, the smallest transistor that can be built - has been created using a single phosphorous atom by an international team of researchers at the University of New South Wales, Purdue University and the University of Melbourne.

The same research team announced in January that it had developed a wire of phosphorus and silicon - just one atom tall and four atoms wide - that behaved like copper wire.

Simulations of the atomic transistor to model its behavior were conducted at Purdue using nanoHUB technology, an online community resource site for researchers in computational nanotechnology.

Gerhard Klimeck, who directed the Purdue group that ran the simulations, says this is an important development because it shows how small electronic components can be engineered.

"To me, this is the physical limit of Moore's Law," Klimeck says. "We can't make it smaller than this."

Read more in The New York Times, BBC, Red Orbit, Nanowerk, Nanotechnology Now, Purdue University Newsroom.